When an NFL player makes news some time between the end of minicamp and the beginning of training camp, it’s almost never good. Generally, it means that he’s either gotten himself arrested or placed himself in some other sort of trouble. Failing that, headlines are generally reserved for announcements of player suspensions.
Quiet offices with nary a ringing phone are bliss for teams during this period. The silence of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offseason was shattered early yesterday morning, however, at a night club in Miami, in which center Maurkice Pouncey and his twin brother were hosting an annual joint celebration for their birthday.
Reports surfaced a bit later on in the day that two individuals who characterize themselves as socialites claimed to have been assaulted by the Pouncey brothers. The male insinuates that he was harassed for his perceived sexual orientation, while the female claims to have been injured attempting to break up the altercation.
After some initial discrepancy, the Miami Police Department did later confirm that the female alleged victim filed a report on the incident, though they added that the Pounceys have yet to be identified as subjects.
Later in the day, Pro Football Talk cited a source who believes that evidence indicates that Pouncey and his brother were not involved in the incident, but beyond that stated above, we have nothing else to go on.
Regardless of whether or not Maurkice has once again gotten himself into anything untoward, however, perhaps it’s time for him to start considering maintaining a lower public profile going forward, for his own good.
It’s an unfortunate truth for celebrities that there are those who will choose to target them in an effort to gain from the incident, usually financially. Pouncey would be fortunate if that is all this turns out to be.
The fifth-year All-Pro has gotten himself involved in a couple of other situations over his career that cause some to view him in a negative light, seeing him as immature and irresponsible.
His association with former college teammate Aaron Hernandez is well known by now. it was at the same night club a year earlier at the brothers’ last celebration in which the two were scorned for donning caps reading “FREE HERNANDEZ”. Mike Pouncey was also involved in the harassment of former Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin.
The most recent headline for Maurkice, on the other hand, had been the signing of a new five-year contract extension that makes him the highest-paid center in the league based on annual base salary.
Pouncey had already been viewed as a young leader on this team last year, and that is a title that he has been expanding this offseason, helping to guide the young offensive line along with veteran Ramon Foster and new offensive line coach Mike Munchak.
Part of being a leader is leading through example, and that goes for both on and off the field.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with celebrating your birthday, nor are athletes forbidden from attending night clubs. But there’s a certain amount of risk involved when celebrities let their guard down, placing them in a vulnerable position of getting involved in an altercation, such as the one that two victims claim occurred early yesterday morning.
As they grow older and mature, many athletes find that the rewards of the night life are not worth the risks for a person of their stature. A night of partying is not worth putting your career in jeopardy. Hopefully Pouncey comes to this realization soon, regardless of whether or not he was responsible for any wrongdoing in this incident.