Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey is focused on preparing for the upcoming season during the team’s training camp, but that hasn’t stopped him from apologizing once again for the mistake he made just a few weeks prior when he was spotted out in a nightclub rocking a “Free Hernandez” hat along with his brother, and Miami Dolphins starter, Mike.
The hat was in support of their former college teammate, who is currently behind bars after being hit with a first degree murder charge.
Maurkice Pouncey originally apologized shortly after the photo of him and his brother wearing the hat surfaced, while his brother has yet to apologize. On Friday after the Steelers training camp session, Maurkice once again offered an apology for his lapse in judgement.
“I understand it was a serious situation, and I apologize if I offended anyone,” he said, via Ralph Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m here to play football, and let’s move off from that.
“I know I took a lot of heat for it, and I probably should have. I understand what happened. It’s pretty cool now, and I’ll let things blow away.”
The most interesting part of Pouncey’s comments is what followed. From the way things sound, the Dolphins informed Mike Pouncey not to publicly apologize or to at least steer clear of the subject altogether.
“I talked to Mike, and his team handled this situation a lot different than [the Steelers] did,” Maurkice said. “I’m sure Mike wanted to apologize, but that’s how they handled it.”
The good news for Maurkice is that his willingness to stand up and apologize, even if it was influenced by the Steelers organization, allows him to move forward from the situation and focus on football.