Courtesy http://www.koreanbeacon.com

Hines Ward DUI: Why I Don't Care


First off, let me be clear: I’m not going to sit here and try to somehow rationalize drunk driving. I will not say that in some way it is OK, and “not that big a deal.” Drunk driving is a serious problem in our country and too many people die because of idiots who drink and then decide they’re fine to drive. No, I will not condone such behavior. But, I am not surprised that a professional athlete was out drinking and then drove home. Nope, that does not surprise me. I was a little shocked when I heard it was Hines, but who are we kidding? We’ve seen pics of Hines over at the Strip Club “making it rain” and didn’t give a wink then. Why? For the same reason I don’t really care about his most recent allegation: There is more depth to Hines than his mistakes. He’s more than a guy who hits a strip club, and he’s much more than just a football player.

For many, Hines is a bonafide hero.I have good friends who have gotten DUIs. I have good friends, even some family, who have had drinking problems. These are not bad people. They are people who at one time or another have either needed help, or simply made a bad choice. Hines is of the latter. Hines made a bad choice. Thank God no one was hurt, and that he was stopped before any harm could be done. That being said, we really don’t know the facts. We know that Hines failed a bunch of sobriety tests, like the alphabet and others, but the authenticity of such tests are always in question. I doubt that Hines wasn’t drunk when he was pulled over in Georgia, but there is a chance that he was greatly fatigued, which could show the same symptoms. It’s wishful thinking, I know, but it is something.

I think we need to consider the fact that Hines is a Black/Korean man, probably driving in the sickest car anyone in Georgia has ever seen, driving in an area of the country where people of color aren’t really looked upon with favor. Yeah, that’s right, this could easily be racism at its finest. It’s a sad, but true fact of the southern states of our Country, and it’s precicely why we need to consider this as a possibility before throwing Hines under the bus.

But even if this is not the case, there is always this: people make mistakes, and they pay for their mistakes. Hines probably made a mistake, but it does not make his entire career and many accomplishments both on and off the field a total wash. It’s not like he’s at the club with a gun strapped up in his sweat pants. It’s not like he just failed his drug test for the 3rd time and then threw a shot glass at a chick in the bar. That is not the kind of behavior we see from Hines Ward. That is not the kind of person that he is. We know this, because he has been under a microscope for the majority of his career. You think it’s hard for you to get away with naughty behavior, just think about being a celebrity. You can bet that Hines has always been a straight shooter, and that he’ll learn his lesson from this incident real fast.

Thus far, he’s handled the allegation with class and grace. He issued a statement apologizing to his fans and to his teammates for the distraction. After winning Dancing With The Stars, he’s got a whole new fan base to apologize to. Not that those people will care, since they’re used to the Charlie Sheens of the world, Hines still looks like a saint in comparison.

All that said, it’s really the other stuff in his life that makes me not really care about this DUI incident. Hines Ward’s Helping Hands Foundation is a wonderful organization that he started in Korea for bi-racial kids who deal with the same kind of racism and discrimination that Hines no doubt dealt with throughout his life. Because of his efforts, and the high profile nature of Hines, President Obama appointed Ward a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in September of 2010. No small appointment.

So, does he really deserve to be thrown under the bus by his team, his fans, and his family? I don’t think so. Deep down, I bet you don’t think so either. Hines will learn from his mistake. I have no qualms going on the record saying that. I don’t say Big Ben won’t make another mistake, cause I learned my lesson there, but Hines is no Big Ben. Hines has been in this league a long time, and the pressures of being a “big-shot” football player with big guns and big drinks and big parties is beyond him. You can be damn well sure Hines will be back on that football field in 2011, terrorizing his opponents with his vicious blocks and sparkly smile.

I can’t wait to see it.

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  • stephanielainegibson

    I’m really, really, REALLY done with all of the Pittsburgh news reporting throwing down the race card in response to this situation. Is there racism in the South? Absolutely. Is there racism in New York City? San Francsico? Kansas City, MO? Yes. I am a native Georgian living elsewhere now who was a student at The University of Georgia when Hines was. He’s the reason so many of us defected from our Bulldog-Braves-Falcons upbringing and became Steelers fans (myself included). Hines is absolutely beloved in the state of Georgia. And let’s not forget, he was pulled over in DeKalb County, Georgia, a part of Atlanta (a city rich with people from all races and cultures) that is actually predominately African-American. I agree with 99% of your post, and I actually think the media is being a little tough on the guy, but I can’t exactly be objective about that; I am a HUGE Hines Ward fan. But, please. Let’s stop taking the cop-out of “he got pulled over because he’s a rich black-Korean guy who was driving a nice car in Georgia.” It’s just as backwards as the way you all view the South.

  • AdamMeckler

    @stephanielainegibson I appreciate you reading and commenting. I agree, the race card is played often in cases like these, but it is played with good reason. Racism is a very real, very poignant problem in the United States, all over. I was simply stating that it could be a factor here, not that it is. To ignore it all together would be naive. I did not mean to offend the majority of those from the south not unlike yourself. My own sister lives in the heart of Texas, and I don’t just assume she is racist because of where she is living. That being said, it is an issue that cannot be overlooked in cases such as these.

  • nancyrose

    Whatever happened is not mine to judge…..I do think Hines needs to rethink his mode of transportation while out partying…..if you remove the problem from the equation you don’t have a problem….Problem solving 101…Love Ya Hines!!!

  • Andiethewestie

    If Hines Ward is absolutely beloved in the State of Georgia, which I don’t doubt at all, and in an area of Greater Atlanta, where there is a predominance of affluent African Americans, would it not follow that the officer did his due diligence in not trying to haul him into the station for a fast cash grab, or racism as the article implies? In reading the police report it appears that if he let Hines go the officer would be in derlect of duty. This morning my husband told me a police cruiser followed him for a number of kilometers one night, then pulled him over and was so angry at him for weaving and he said he almost hit his cruiser. My husband apologized, the officer was upclose to him, smelling his breath, and realizing the only problem was lack of sleep he sent him on his way with a stern warning. If lack of sleep or dropping phones was a problem but not alcohol then the procedure would have been different.

    Unless the officer is lying completely, all I see in this case is Hines’ lawyer turning this into a bit of a circus, and thereby angering people who do not have the avails of a high paid attorney to try to beat the charges. That does not set the right example.

  • jle1021

    Really, you’re gonna pull the race card? Really?? I guess him swerving and hitting a curb had nothing to do with the fact he was pulled over. C’mon now this article is a joke. Hines Ward is a athlete and a celebrity, a role model with a lot of money. He’s got no excuse and he can kiss his broadcasting career goodbye. I used to respect Hines too….

  • craig.nicepickcowher

    @AdamMeckler You don’t care now because you don’t see how it changes the way you think of him as a person and how ultimately no one was hurt. Everyone walks away ok and Hines will learn from that mistake.

    But, will you care that if he is indeed convicted in court that he could serve jail time for this offense? How would you feel about it then? No one has really talked about this, but there is the very real potential that Hines could go to jail. Maybe not for a year, but very possibly at some point during this season. Now he’s hurt his team and his fans in a different way. So you don’t care on personal levels… but as a Citizen of Steelers Nation would you care if he hurts their chances at another Super Bowl run with him gone?

  • craig.nicepickcowher

    Let me clarify – he may not serve a full year’s time as what this offense has a sentence of. But even three-six months would be brutal.

  • AdamMeckler

    @craig.nicepickcowher You’re right, that would seriously hurt the Steelers, and I would not be happy. That being said, my thoughts in the article remain the same, I guess until that happens…

  • AdamMeckler

    @jle1021 I’ll just copy what I said to the reader below:

    I appreciate you reading and commenting. I agree, the race card is played often in cases like these, but it is played with good reason. Racism is a very real, very poignant problem in the United States, all over. I was simply stating that it could be a factor here, not that it is. To ignore it all together would be naive.

    Hines is likely in the wrong here, but one DUI is not what makes or breaks a human being. He will likely suffer the consequences of his actions, as will the Steelers in some way, but I stand by my words.

  • AdamMeckler

    @Andiethewestie You’re right, it’s far fetched. It seems as though that is the only paragraph people read of my article. My point really is that Hines is bigger than his mistakes, as we all are.

  • hermit851

    Gee, you mean the same officer in Canada who stopped your husband also stopped Hines? Wow, he gets around, doesn’t he? Andie, you need to give this topic a rest. You’ve been blocked at FB, berated on forums, and now you’re resorting to this? @Andiethewestie

  • DUIs are Not Ok

    @AdamMeckler @jle1021 oh please. Nothing will happen to him. The rich and famous get away with everything. “One DUI is not what makes or breaks a human being.” YOU ARE DISGUSTING. One DUI can be what breaks the person they run over. No, Hines didn’t hurt anyone here, but neither did the woman who ran over my brother AND AMPUTATED HIS LEG ON THE SCENE the first 4 times she drove drunk. So it clearly works to let them go if it’s their first… second…third… fourth… fifth… let’s just wait until they DO hurt someone, THEN we’ll do something about it. Good plan.

  • DUIs are Not Ok

    @AdamMeckler @Andiethewestie Everyone makes mistakes. This was not a mistake. This was a chosen action. People choose what to drink. People choose to drive.

  • AdamMeckler

    @DUIs are Not Ok I am deeply saddened by the story of your brother. If you read the first paragraph of my article, I am very clear about how I feel about DUIs. Hines made a choice to drive, which was the wrong choice. We are lucky that nothing happened in this instance, and I pray that Hines will never do something like this again. I am simply saying that I believe that Hines is bigger than this, and that he will learn from his mistake and not make the same mistake again.

  • Andiethewestie

    @DUIs are Not Ok @AdamMeckler @Andiethewestie I totally agree.

  • Andiethewestie

    @hermit851 Ha, to be banned off your forum of a bunch of delusional mental defectives who think Hines is engaging in a sexual relationship with his dance partner? I consider that a badge of honor.

  • LeeSmith

    You have to be kidding me with this post… You are rationalizing! You are rationalizing that Mr Ward being more than just a football player, bonafide hero to thousands of kids, Dancing With The Stars winner, Advisory Commission on Asian Americans President Obama appointed. And then sit there and post Why I Don’t Care! This is the reason why you should CARE! This is the reason why these multi millionaire Super star celebrity affiliates needs to be held accountable.. And Mr Ward apologizing to his fans and to his teammates for the distractionis calling this class and grace? Why is he apologizing for? failing a bunch of sobriety tests or being black (Race Card)? or being fatigued? You would no be rationalizing if it was your wife or kids he killed! But he didn’t did he, THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T CARE! pathetic!!!!

  • LeeSmith

    You have to be kidding me with this post… You are rationalizing! You are rationalizing that Mr Ward being more than just a football player, bonafide hero to thousands of kids, Dancing With The Stars winner, Advisory Commission on Asian Americans President Obama appointed. And then sit there and post Why I Don’t Care! This is the reason why you should CARE! This is the reason why these multi millionaire Super star celebrity athletes needs to be held accountable.. And Mr Ward apologizing to his fans and to his teammates for the distractionis calling this class and grace? Why is he apologizing for? failing a bunch of sobriety tests or being black (Race Card)? or being fatigued? You would no be rationalizing if it was your wife or kids he killed! But he didn’t did he, THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T CARE! pathetic!!!!

  • scubed

    @AdamMeckler yes, it was racism against Korean Black males, rearing its ugly head again. What an insightful post. Sigh.