Mike Adams Still Subject To Court Of Public Opinion

Yesterday, a jury of 12 found the three men accused of stabbing Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams, during a South Side altercation on an early June morning last year, not guilty of the most serious charges brought against them. The knife wound left Adams hospitalized for four days following the incident.

The not guilty verdict in no way indicts Adams of any legal wrongdoing of any sort. According to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article written by Adam Brandolph, in fact, “none of the lawyers had anything negative to say on Wednesday about Adams, who did not appear in court after testifying last week”.

Adams was unquestionably the victim of an attack. His four-day hospital visit, gaping abdominal wound, and admission from one defendant that he punched Adams, attest to that well enough.

While he seemingly faces no risk of falling into legal trouble due to this incident, however, might it nevertheless be damaging to his reputation?

You might recall that Adams was not even considered a draftable candidate leading up to the 2012 draft after testing positive for marijuana at the Combine.

It took a personal visit and plea to convince the Steelers to put him back on their board, and after he was drafted, it was with stipulations and guidelines for personal conduct.

Indeed, part of the defense’s argument was that Adams was coerced into lying to investigators after the initial incident regarding what exactly happened because he was already on “thin ice” and worried about his status with the team.

As a result, the defense says, Adams changed his story multiple times, initially claiming to have been stabbed during a fight. He later claimed that he had a gun to his face as part of an attempted carjacking, but finally said that one of the attackers merely showed him the gun but did not draw the weapon.

Adams was also significantly intoxicated during the time of the incident. This is surely something that the organization must have been aware of at the time, and thus if it was a major issue now, it would have been a major issue then.

Still, a blood alcohol level of 0.185 is no laughing matter, which led the defense to question his ability to provide a reliable account of the events of that night.

With reports now that Adams actually helped instigate the confrontation, first by bumping into one of the defendants and knocking his food out of his hands, and then later reportedly asking the defendants to hit him and asking if they knew who he was, perhaps it would be understandable if Adams was hesitant to give a full account.

On the field, it’s no state secret that Adams has struggled, being benched from the starting lineup and being demoted to rotational tight end duty. When players struggle, particularly highly drafted players, it makes them ripe for derision from the fan base.

At the same time, however, there is the fact that he was ultimately the victim, and likely learned quite a lesson from that night. The incident is also nearly a year in his past, and he’s done nothing but look ahead since then, at least as far as we know.

Adams no doubt showed questionable judgment not only in his alleged behavior that night (in spite of the fact that he reportedly was not planning to drive home on his own), but also for putting himself in that vulnerable position. But youthful indiscretions can be looked past. Will that be the case for Adams?

Ultimately, I believe it will be. Though nobody comes out looking good from that incident, I believe the general public is understanding of the position that he was in and are sympathetic to the fact that it’s behind him now.

Likewise, the organization has done nothing to indicate that they are displeased with Adams’ behavior or that they’ve tightened his leash in any way since then. As long as he continues to trend upward both on and off the field, I think he should be entitled to the benefit of the doubt in the court of public opinion, and with respect to organizational attitude, moving forward.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Paddy

    Players need to know that being out in the wee hours of the morning invites trouble. Adams is fortunate that he wasn’t killed, a 5″ wound on a smaller man would have killed him. I expect he will concentrate on being a better person and player.
    Being a large person myself I found that the punks of the world with half a brain were always willing to try their best with me. I was never drunk in these encounters so I was able to defend myself. Our society today can have a mean and nasty tone to it and this stuff unfortunately will continue to happen.

  • Jacque Strappe

    Obviously you can’t have a negative opinion of Adams, and I’ll bow out of this one.

  • colingrant

    Mike Adams’ physical prowess + Kelvin Beachum’s mental prowess = All Pro LT The question is which one is going to add the missing component first? Much to the dismay of 90% of Steelers nation, it’ll be Beachum. And that’s okay with me. His pedigree however, will be held against him for years. We’re fortunate to have him, even though most want him replaced.

  • srdan

    I agree with a lot of what you said But keep in mind that regardless of being millionaires, these guys are still in their early 20s with early 20s hormones. To be honest, they need to blow off steam, and I don’t have an issue with players going out till whatever time they want. But the issue i have is the responsibility they practice when out. There is a big differentce between going to rumshakers or mallorca. I prefer rumshakers, but i odnt wear a steelers uniform. Also, the company you keep has a lot to do with it. That I have a big issue with.

    Regardless, this dude has had a rough start to his career. I haven’t made my mind up how this changes my opinion of him, if it does at all.

  • wdhammer

    I wasn’t there ,I don’t know

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Someone got away with a crime, but there’s nothing we can do about it. In my eyes most athletes should take a limo or cab when they go out, but still not drink to excess. You just never know what might happen. Next:

    I am more interested in knowing if Adams has been training hard. He needs to get a little leaner and quicker. Has he been working on his footwork? I know the guy is strong enough to run block. Let’s see if he can improve. Does anyone know what he’s be up to? Football, please.

  • cencalsteeler

    I’m going to spin this into a positive. Adams clearly knows now that the ice he’s been skating on just got thinner. He has to pick up his game this season or the Steelers will probably look in another direction. If anything, I hope this motivates him and he turns into the player we’ve all hoped to see.

  • PoKey21

    Lessons to all: if you plan on causing bodily harm to someone use a knife, and claim self preservation. Then blame the rest on alcohol. It worked for these 3 and Ray Lewis, why not you?!?

  • steeltown

    I read an article on Steelers website that said Adams went back to work in the weight room almost as soon as the season ended, he and DeCastro workout together on a regular basis. To that note, I’ve also read that Beachum, Arnfelt and Wheaton are some other young guys that have been gym rats all offseason

  • Louis Goetz

    If the defendants were acquitted based upon evidence presented that they were attacked and antagonized by Mike Adams, then I certainly consider that be an indictment of him. I’d also consider it a strike two and I wouldn’t give him a strike three, as if play wasn’t a third strike in and of itself. I didn’t agree with the Steelers drafting him (not that it matters) after he got caught with weed when he knew he was going to be tested for it. It’s not that he didn’t deserve a second chance, it just shows that the guy doesn’t have the brains God gave to a jackass. This incident; if true, supports that.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    “Ain’t nothin’ good ever happens after 12 o’ clock at night”

  • PA2AK

    I think you may be missing the ‘why’ in most folks’ opinion. Beachum is awesome to have…the fact remains that he is not a long term answer at LT. If he somehow defies the odds with what he is lacking physically then everyone will eat their words. I’m not going to hold my breath for that though. I love everything he does and am very glad we have him on the team. I really wish more people had a work ethic and attitude like him. In all reality, it will be one of the most amazing feats i’ve heard of if he entrenches himself as a long term starter in the NFL.

  • PA2AK

    I’ve seen the same. I don’t think Adams has an issue with putting in the work. I expect him to improve greatly. Can’t forget that progress CAN be slowed after a serious stabbing. My hope is that he takes over the RT spot (he’s certainly better suited for that position) and Gilbert returns to battle with Beachum for LT. I may be in the minority…but this year (if no one else comes in) the weak link to me is Gilbert. He’s just not impressive, physical, or mentally tough.

  • Steve

    There was a guy back in the 70’s that had Great work ethics and all the determination with part of his leg missing from a VieNam war wound. His name was Rocky Blier and he started out playing special teams and excelling in them and ended leding the way for Franco Harris with both having over 1000 yards one year. Just shows you don’t need to have all the phisical features, but with true determination and hard work you’ll make it.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Thanks. I am hoping that Adams gets a little quicker, and Vince Williams joins him getting a little lighter afoot. I also want JJ to bulk up, just like everyone else.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    If it works this could be great for the Steelers as Adams has shown to be a very capable run blocker on the right side. One way or another I feel confidant that Munchack will figure it out.

  • PA2AK

    Point is…how often does THAT happen? Like I said, ‘defies the odds’ and ‘one of the most amazing feats’. /sarcasm/ Thanks for the education…I had NO CLUE! /sarcasm/

  • Steve

    Was referring to your last sentence, sorry to bore you.

  • Matt Manzo

    The worst thing that happened was Mike losing the fight! That’s what it sounds like it was. A fight, not a mugging.
    And it would be a better story if he beat up three guys but got stabbed while kickin butt!
    Instead, it sounds like he started a fight, tried to act like a tough guy and got beat up street style.
    I think Lambert and Greene and Lloyd all won their fights!

  • walter mason

    it sure does look that way. It also looks like he started the fight that he lost..