Reaction To Maurkice Pouncey Wearing A \”Free Hernandez\” Hat Is A Bit Over The Top

Now that the picture of Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and his twin brother, Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, has surfaced of them both wearing hats that read “Free Hernandez” during their Saturday night birthday party, a good portion of the fan base is up in arms about it and several even think the organization should part ways with the fourth-year player.

While I for one am not thrilled with their choice of attire, it is not grounds for either player to be released.

One of the commenters stated in the original post that the twins are considered gangsters in Florida and that their tattoos include gang signs, and that is a good reason to cut them.

What? If the Steelers, or any other organization for that matter, released players merely because of questionable tattoos that they have on their bodies, there would be a lot of players out of work come Monday. The same goes for questionable t-shirt slogans and remarks made on Twitter.

Maurkice has certainly had his share of immature moments over the years, mostly on Twitter, but as far as I can tell he hasn\’t committed any crime since being drafted. In fact, almost all the things that he has had to say this offseason have been spot on, and it is evident that he is taking on more of a leadership role on the team heading into 2013.

While the Pouncey twins recently have had their names surface in a story about the possible involvement of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in a 2007 shooting down in Florida, neither are suspected to be involved directly with the crime. The two might be questioned about being with Hernandez in a club earlier that night, but that\’s where it will likely end.

If I were the Pouncey\’s, I wouldn\’t have worn those hats as I would be trying to distance myself from Hernandez as much as I could. However, as damning as the evidence is against Hernandez, he has only been charged with a crime, and his day in court is still several months away. It is a known fact that the twins are friends with Hernandez, so their support for him is not overly surprising.

Is the Rooney family happy about the picture surfacing? Probably not, but at least Maurkice isn\’t behind bars right now as it appears that the birthday party went off without any incidents. In this day and age, that should be a reason to celebrate.

Neither Maurkice nor Mike will be released for wearing hats that support a person charged with murder, and it is foolish to think that they should be. Are they guilty of bad judgment? Perhaps, but we all are guilty of that from time to time.

If this is the worst thing that has taken place this offseason with the Steelers, it should be viewed as one of the greatest offseasons in recent memory.

  • James Dorsey

    Completely agree. Not the smartest thing to do (especially since it’s pretty blatant Hernandez is guilty) but I think you are a COMPLETE MORON if you think we should cut him. I guess some people just don’t understand football players (maybe because they never played ball or hung around ballers)

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I will not promote the cutting of Pouncey over this, but I think the hats highlight something which is clear in this area as well in the Zimmerman case. People who are not involved are emotionally taking sides about something they have no first hand knowledge of. No one on this board knows if Zimmerman is telling the truth, or knows whether Trayvon got racially attacked, but everyone seems to have an opinion of innocence or guilt of a man from watching 10 minutes of the trial and reading articles….biased one way or another….about what supposedly happened.

    In this case, these young men are supporting their friend. Fine, but understand everything points to his guilt at this point. It would be smarter in their case to just not show an opinion one way or another.

  • Matt Welty

    They both show such bad judgment doing this, but you can’t cut either of them for simply wearing a hat. I just wish I could be one of those people who can just cheer for the jerseys. It’s easier being a fan when the guys you spend so much time cheering for somewhat represent the things you do, like not supporting someone accused of murder. It doesn’t seem too much to ask for.

  • Shea Fahr

    If stupidity was a crime, the Twins would be facing life without parole…I guess they really are just “dumb kids”. No respect or Class either..

  • Leon Mcnair

    omg they are friends with hernandez give them a bbreak

  • TJimmy

    Besides, if Hernandez can play the “race card” with a dream team of lawyers, blaming the cops for inventing evidence, he will probably be found “not guilty”

  • Informed reader

    They are friends with him. Most people would still care about a friend even if he was charged with a terrible crime, ESPECIALLY if he has not yet been convicted of anything. I think the Pouncey twins are good guys who are loyal friends but very bad judges of character. There is no reason to cut them, and no real reason to be angry at them.

  • Shea Fahr

    Interesting how some Folks will put their NAME to what they say or wear on their Hat…and then there are the others who choose to be known as informed readers. The Pittsburgh Steelers and their Fans do not deserve the negativity that these sort of actions bring and I think you meant to say idiotic as opposed to bad judges of character.

  • Mike Sweeney

    Agreed. Not bad judges of character, more like, where in the hell did I leave my brain today. Uncharacteristic, unprofessional and a public humiliation and embarrassment, to the Steelers franchise. I don’t think that’s being a leader MP.

  • Shea Fahr

    This is apparently the Leader of our O-Line? Hopefully Foster or D2 can quickly assume that role.

  • Christopher Wilkes


  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I don’t know Maurkice Pouncey aside from what I see on the field, so I’m not in a position to make judgments about his character and fitness to be on the team. That is something the Steelers need to do. Right now, I see 3 things that are very concerning:

    1. He was involved in some sort of incident with a guy who ended up murdered.

    2. He vouched for Chris Rainey, a guy who’s character was deemed not suitable for the team and maybe the league.

    3, He is friends with someone who is accused of murder and is publicly supporting that person.

    These concerns I have don’t necessarily need to be addressed publicly, but the Steelers need to be damn sure they know what kind of guy Pouncey is now before he is more directly involved in something unbefitting of the organization.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    LOL! I instantly dislike anyone that doesn’t use their real name on the internet, wether it’s here with a Disqus account or any other sign-in online account. If you got the balls to say something, than put your NAME on it!

  • Informed reader

    I truly believe that this has gotten out of hand. Just because somebody is a professional athlete does not mean they are not entitled to opinions or a personal life. People defend their friends and family constantly in highly publicized criminal cases – people normally understand that urge. But the second it is an athlete, some people suddenly believe the athlete should just shut up. Do I think Hernandez is guilty? Yes. Has he been convicted of anything yet? No. Is he entitled to a trial before he is judged? Yes. Do I think it is terrible that his college buddies and teammates who never saw this dark side of him are defending him? No. Should an athlete’s career be ruined because he has an opinion the majority of the public disagrees with? NO!

    If he made a racist or sexist or homophobic rant, or was accused of some violent crime himself, then the Rooneys and fans would have something to legitimately complain about. He did none of these things. Lots of people didn’t see the evil lurking inside Hernandez. I’m sure he was very good at keeping it hidden. Don’t blame Pouncey for supporting him. That’s what friends do – real ones at least.

    BTW, I refuse to use my real name on an Internet message board. That is not a smart move considering how hostile some people get if you don’t agree with their opinion. If you want to take your chances, go for it, but I refuse to.

  • Informed reader

    I would say I feel special, but I realize that the fact that the majority of the people posting on the Internet don’t use their names means you dislike millions of people. Oh well.

    No offense, but I think I will somehow be able to sleep tonight despite the fact that you dislike me. 🙂

  • JPDQ

    So, I guess we should ignore all the blatant signs of immaturity that our “leader” Pouncey has exhibited thus far? We should ignore the potential connection he had at Florida to this murderer Hernandez? We should ignore the fact that he vouched for Chris Rainey? We should wait until he actually *commits* a crime before we discipline Maurkice, right? Just like the Patriots did with Hernandez…

    Gimme a freakin break, writing a blog post that attempts to belittle the very readers that generate clicks for you on your site. I don’t know if Pouncey SHOULD be cut for this, but I tell you what, it wouldn’t bother me one bit. Waiting around for guys to actually break the law when the writing has been on the wall since day one is just asinine. When Pouncey gets a DUI, or fails a drug test for pot, everyone will stand up on their soap boxes and say, “How in the world did the Steelers not see this coming?”

    I’m tired of these guys. I’m so freakin tired of it. I don’t care if it’s right in the eyes of the Black n Gold blinded fans, or right according to the player’s union, or whatever. If the players get a pass for having such unbelievably bad judgement and making disgraceful spectacles of themselves as if there’s no professional ramifications for their actions, then so should the Rooney’s. It’s their team, and it’s a privilege to play this game and make millions and millions of dollars. If and when they decide they’re tired of having spoiled, entitled morons on their team, I will support them 100%, even if we go 0-16 in the process.
    I absolutely believe that stupidity should have a price. This guy is the most overrated Steeler on the team, and injury prone to boot. The repeated references to him being a leader, simply because he calls himself that, is laughable. My god, man, leaders don’t act like this.

    I don’t care if he was best friends with Hernandez since he was two, that guy is a murderer just as sure as the sun is gonna rise tomorrow. And if you’re really that close with somebody, you know if they’re capable of something like this. And if you know, and still go out there and publicly support him in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, you’re a f’ing moron and should be disciplined as such.

    And, I will wrap up by saying that he wouldn’t be cut for “wearing a hat,” he would be cut for showing a pattern of extremely bad judgement which reflects negatively on his employer. People get fired for it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

  • Brendon Glad

    It may be “A BIT” over the top…but not much. To me, this hat thing is a fairly serious issue.
    Should he be cut? No. Should Ben have been cut for his 2 incidents? No. But by God, I’m glad the warning flags at least went up within Steelers Nation. Maybe under the new microscope, Pouncey will re-evaluate his mindset, and it will be a young man’s blip, instead of a stepping-stone to trouble.

  • Trey Brooks

    great point

  • Trey Brooks

    I guess you never made a mistake

  • Brendon Glad

    It would be bold…but we are Steelers Nation. WAY bigger than Mr. Pouncey. I admit, there have been a few times in the past where I got mad when the Steelers have let guys go for questionable character. And each time I got less and less mad about it, because it ALWAYS played out that they were right and I was wrong. So by gosh, if the Steelers pulled a Santonio Holmes on Pouncey, I’ve learned my lesson and you will not hear one PEEP of complaint from me.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    No offense taken, buddy. Now go crawl back in your hole 😛

  • Brendon Glad

    Someone who thinks Pouncey should be cut or traded is not a “complete moron”, in my opinion. I think it is a very fair thought to be discussed.
    Yet, I DO agree with you that we shouldn’t cut Pouncey over this…because as a football fan, FOOTBALL character is #1…off-field character and talent are tied for #2. And all 3 of them are so close together that it can be VERY confusing. That’s why so many mistakes are made in the draft, and even during NFL players’ careers by executives.
    He should be watched closely though. Any extensions should be put on hold, until this major red flag is proven to be a blip and not a trend.
    When the Steelers dumped Bam Morris…it seemed stupid…but was it wise? When the Steelers let Plaxico Burress walk, did they survive and still thrive? When the Steelers let Santonio Holmes walk, do we really miss him? All 3 had some growing up to do. And I’m fully on board with having Plaxico back NOW. But I disagreed with the Steelers all-3 times when they parted ways with those guys. And I was wrong all 3 times.
    So don’t call people morons about it…even though I agree with you to keep Pouncey…the opposing side DEFINITELY doesn’t deserve a “moron” tag over it.

  • Brendon Glad

    Yep…it’s all about the public wearing of the hat…not what they actually believe. To each his own, on the belief side…but the public display part deserves to create major issues among Steelers Nation. He’s a public figure. He needs to get a clue quickly

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If the Pouncey brothers came out and said they were communist it wouldnt be a popular thing but it is what they believe and in America we have that right. That does not give you full autonomy to say what ever you want but the Pouncey brothers may feel that Hernandez has gotten a unfair shake. No matter how unpopular they have a right to feel that way even though I personally think it was of poor taste.

  • walter mason

    Im really sick now. Not only are they friends with a mass murderer and thug but they were with him on the night of one of his murders? OMG

  • walter mason

    Im hoping too that the Pounceys are young, naive, stupid and bad judges of character. Im really hoping but it doesnt look good…

  • walter mason

    Actually its a smart move.

  • walter mason

    Ben turned his life around. Im sure Pouncey can do the same. Im really hoping deep inside that the Pounceys did not know their friend was a thug and a murderer. Im really really hoping…

    I think its also possible that they were set up in that picture. Its possible that someone approached them and said put on this hat for a quick pic and they obliged without thinking. Maybe Im reaching…

  • walter mason

    Im hoping and praying they are just dumb kids.

  • Guest

    Hell no don’t cut Maurkice. It’s obvious he’s a couple fries short of a Happy Meal. It’s just a matter of time before he’s in big trouble too. Him and the Steelers deserve each other.

  • JPDQ

    You’re cutting this James Dorsey guy way too much slack, Brendon. His repeated references to people not understanding Pouncey’s situation because they “don’t understand football players” or never “hung around ballers” is as idiotic as it is factually wrong. As if to say that if more people DID hang around “ballers,” it would become crystal clear why they are somehow entitled to such self-absorbed acts of immaturity and/or criminal activity, beating their girlfriends, not paying child support, selling drugs, being affiliated with gangs…uh, MURDERING PEOPLE and on and on.

    Pouncey has had enough time to grow up and learn how to be a professional. He hasn’t yet, and I suspect he never will. Some people have it, and some people don’t. In the “Steelers that actually ARE leaders” category I would put: Clark, Miller, Polamalu, Taylor, Foote, Keisel. In the “Steelers who TALK about being leaders but don’t really know the first thing about it” category would be: Pouncey, Ben, Brown, Woodley.

    Leader, my ass.

  • Wesley Dodds

    Well, its not like Maurkice Pouncey had raped and sexually abused a teenage girl, right? Oh that’s right. That would be Steelers STAR quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Nice calibre of characters on the Steelers team these days. They set such an example of what to expect from modern-day Pittsburgh fans tolerance of antisocial behavior. No wonder so many JoeBots are also from Pittsburgh. Maybe they can all do a rally led by Franco Harris to defend Joe Paterno failing to act against a CHILD RAPIST. I bet the people in Milledgeville, Georgia remember the character of the Steelers players. What a disgrace for Pittsburgh. The people of Pittsburgh NEED TO SPEAK UP and let the Steelers players and Steelers organization they won’t disgrace their city any longer. But honestly, we all know that WILL NOT happen. Ben Roethlisberger set the standard, and now any Steeler can get away with anything.

  • Wesley Dodds

    Well there you go – the bottom line: “Should Ben have been cut for his 2 incidents? No.” So if you can RAPE a teenage girl in the bathroom and get away with it and go on to lead an NFL team, who could possibly expect the Steelers or their fans to be serious about morality now? Just ask Franco Harris, who does videos with the attorney for convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky. Morality, character, standards, values, ethics? You HAVE TO BE KIDDING – not in Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania anymore – they have all been FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET – in the name of FOOTBALL. How sad for Pittsburgh and that entire state.

  • walter mason


  • James Dorsey

    You know what’s so funny? You have Joey as your pic LOL. Now Joey is a GOOOOON!!! He ALWAYS hung around gang members (his family is full of crips from his hometown) and dope dealers. Matter of fact go look up what he’s into now lol. Signed a bunch of romper room gangstas to his record label. Know your Steelers

  • JPDQ

    My god man, I’m not sure how, but I’ve underestimated your stupidity.

  • Gary Thomas

    He’s a thug…………………………Helluva player but still a thug!!!!………..Rainey beats women?? and the twins support murder??? C’mon steelers get back to the old ways………Let them shoot at helicopters LOL

  • Dr. Dog

    Really good points. And anyone saying Pouncey should be cut for this has a short memory — Big Ben may not have faced charges, but his “bad judgment” was bit more than Pouncey’s, don’t you think? And obviously there are a million other examples. It’s the slow season, so things are going to get blown out of proportion. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t another disappointing example of the immaturity of a player that a lot of us once saw as a future team leader though. Can he learn from his mistakes and up his game both on the field and as a leader? Or is Pouncey just a selfish, immature guy who is is likable but shallow, and destined to be overrated and ultimately an average-to-good player, and not a great one. He’s now the veteran on an O-Line stocked with 1sts and 2nds, so its success or failure has a lot to do with him. Clock’s ticking.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    So….to follow your logic…if you’re a “baller” then you suddenly cross into a parallel universe where it’s highly prized to celebrate embeciles? Because in THIS universe, your “ballers” wind up in the pen at some point.

  • walter mason

    Whats a JoeBot?