People look up to you, Hines. You just were on TV with Dancing with the Stars. Ravens fans were upset that you won Dancing with the Stars but they still watched you. That shows your charisma and character. You've got a legacy in the NFL that no one can take away from you. But if you hurt somebody drunk driving, that takes away a lot.
Rice has reason to take the issue personally, as he lost a cousin to a drunk driver just over a decade ago. But public comment might not be the best way to chastise Ward, and considering the two play for rival teams some are going to assume it's just aimless trash talk.
Fans - I appreciate all the love and support. Thank you! It means a lot to me. I have a great respect for the legal system and am leaving things in the hands of my attorney. I can't wait for football. I've been working out hard. I want to get back to the big show again this year. We have some unfinished business to take care of. So we will be ready to go when we are given the Green light. Here we go! Hines
"Green light!" That's a car thing! This is not a very good time to talk about cars. Here's hoping Ward is not found guilty of anything, but let's not bring up driving, cars or things you see while driving cars.
Ward's agent released a statement Sunday that insisted the Super Bowl MVP and Dancing With The Stars champ was not impaired by alcohol. Based on this side of the story, things don't sound very good, but we'll wait and see.
Via Hines Ward's Facebook page, the former Georgia Bulldogs WR's agent Andrew Ree has issued a statement expressing sadness for the player's Saturday morning DUI arrest while denying Ward was driving drunk. Sounds like Ward's team is planning to contest the charge:
On July 9th Hines Ward was stopped by Dekalb Co. police for suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence. He cooperated fully with the police and truthfully answered all of their questions. We are currently in the process of ascertaining all the facts. From our preliminary investigation we can tell you that we are confident that the facts will show that Hines was NOT impaired by alcohol while driving. However, Hines is deeply saddened by this incident and apologizes to his fans and the Steelers organization for this distraction.
According to reports, Ward was polite to his arresting officers, was allowed to drive himself to the police station*, had a passenger who hadn't been drinking and claimed he'd only had two drinks. He failed a field sobriety test before refusing a breathalyzer test, which equals an automatic booking.
Can't imagine how the reigning Dancing With The Stars champion could fail a field sobriety test if he wasn't actually intoxicated, but that's the claim.
* It's been pointed out that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's story doesn't appear to report Ward drove himself. Reading the sentence in question again, it does seem to say the passenger drove Ward's car. I probably should've read that part an extra time or two, though it has also been interpreted otherwise.
Here's something a little more trustworthy than TMZ: according to the DeKalb County Jail's website, Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor DUI, which certainly makes sense considering his lack of a history with this kind of charge, though that also likely means he didn't have any passengers with him.
He was booked into jail just before 4 am ET before paying that $1,000 bond, first reported by TMZ.
Ward's only previous run-in with the law that I'm aware of was when he was handcuffed by police during a hunt for a stolen car. The former Georgia Bulldogs player had been riding with a female who'd reported her car stolen but forgotten to call off the dogs. Oh, hilarious! By all accounts he was courteous and professional during that encounter.
Born in Seoul and raised in East Point, the Atlanta resident's reputation, off the field at least, has been virtually spotless to this point. He's known for his entrepreneurship and international charity work. Oh, and winning some dancing show.