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Hines Ward: Police who stopped me just doing their jobs

Hines Ward AP

Some people who were handcuffed by police at gunpoint over a misunderstanding would cry foul and say they were mistreated. Hines Ward is not one of those people.

Instead, Ward is making a point of letting his fans know that the police who stopped him early this morning did nothing improper. Ward posted a brief note to his fans on Facebook, saying that everything was OK.

“The incident in the news that involved me getting pulled over. I want everyone to know that this was a complete misunderstanding,” Ward wrote. “The police were just doing their job. Apologies were made and it’s now in the past. Moving forward.”

Ward, the Steelers receiver who’s a contestant this season on Dancing With the Stars, was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by the Los Angeles Police Department, and he was handcuffed while officers checked whether it was stolen. In reality, the driver had reported it stolen after a valet couldn’t produce it, then failed to report that it wasn’t stolen when the valet eventually found it.

Ward’s comments stand in contrast to those of Titans running back Chris Johnson, who also used social media this week to discuss an incident when police questioned him even though he did nothing wrong. While Johnson suggested that he was targeted because he’s young, black and rich, Ward has a more magnanimous reaction to his own encounter with police.

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70 Responses to “Hines Ward: Police who stopped me just doing their jobs”
  1. j0esixpack says: May 5, 2011 6:34 PM

    Classy move by Ward… I’d have been pretty mad myself, and I’m white.

    But like him after the fact I’d be accepting of the police making a legitimate mistake and apologizing for it… cuffing a suspect can help ensure the police officer’s own safety, and it’s tough to fault them for that given the fact they put their lives on the line every day.

  2. orangeflh says: May 5, 2011 6:35 PM

    It’s nice to see a pro athlete act like he’s got some sense.

  3. ttommytom says: May 5, 2011 6:35 PM

    The contrast is that one is an idiot and the other is not.

  4. captainwisdom8888 says: May 5, 2011 6:35 PM

    And if Hines mistakenly reached into his pocket to grab his ID and got clapped…the cops were just doing their jobs….

  5. brownsfn says: May 5, 2011 6:41 PM

    As much as I can’t stand this guy on the football field I have to give him credit here…he didn’t go right to the race card and they only pulled me over because I’m black…

  6. minormillikin says: May 5, 2011 6:42 PM

    Stop being cool, Hines! I must hate you!

  7. gmen4life1979 says: May 5, 2011 6:43 PM

    Ward is a stand up guy … always respected him on and off the feild

  8. kyleortonsarm says: May 5, 2011 6:44 PM

    To be fair though, being a Pittsburgh Steeler these days is almost probable cause. Why is your organization so full of terrible people? Anyway, pulling over a Steeler is about 50/50 you’ll find something illegal they’re doing, have done, or are leaving the scene of.

  9. raynman49 says: May 5, 2011 6:44 PM

    Maybe the cop was going to lock him up for bad dancing.

  10. skeeter1970 says: May 5, 2011 6:48 PM

    Contrary to how Ward’s play on the field is viewed by a lot of people, he is actually a great guy.

    And he can dance better than you too.

  11. ndomination says: May 5, 2011 6:50 PM

    Yeah, it makes sense that Ward’s point of view and Johnson’s point of view are different; they were totally different situations. Ward was in what appeared to be a stolen vehicle. That isn’t based on suspicion or speculation, that’s based on fact. However, in Johnson’s case he was clearly minding his own buisness and was invaded by police under ‘suspicion’. That’s obviously based on a stereotype because if it was someone like Brad Pitt’s house, there wouldn’t have ever been an issue.

  12. thephantomstranger says: May 5, 2011 6:52 PM

    In a statement, Barack Obama said, “I don’t know the facts of the case, but the police acted stupidly.”

  13. tdotsteel says: May 5, 2011 7:00 PM

    Couldn’t the situation have have been diffused without the handcuffs at gunpoint. I am sorry this is not acceptable. There was a presumption of guilt without assessing the situation or getting the facts. Isn’t this what the police are trained to do.

    I do not want this to be race issue but regardless of color this should not be protocol. However, I doubt Tom Brady or Brett Favre would be in handcuffs @ gunpoint in the same situation.

  14. jhorton83 says: May 5, 2011 7:00 PM

    The fault lies with his friend. She reported the car stolen and when it turned out she just forgot where it was parked, she failed to notify the police of that fact. They were just doing their jobs with a car that was reported as stolen.

  15. nockinon7sdoor says: May 5, 2011 7:05 PM

    kyleortonsarm says: To be fair though, being a Pittsburgh Steeler these days is almost probable cause. Why is your organization so full of terrible people? Anyway, pulling over a Steeler is about 50/50 you’ll find something illegal they’re doing, have done, or are leaving the scene of.
    ________________________________

    I am confused. Can you tell me the name of a current Steeler who has been convicted, or even charged, with a crime? And “full of terrible people?” I’ll admit that Roethlisberger’s actions last year were terrible, regardless of whether he was charged or not. If that makes him a terrible person, OK. Who are the rest of these terrible people?

  16. nagaswan says: May 5, 2011 7:10 PM

    I may have misunderstood CJ’s remarks, but my impression was he was saying he was targeted because he is black. He said it is tough to be young black and rich, because police assume if you are young and black you should not have things a rich person would. The distinction is that police aren’t targeting him because he is rich, they are assuming he has broken the law to obtain something they believe he should not have. Haven’t you all seen the Fresh Prince episode where Carlton gets arrested for driving a nice car? This stuff is real! (I joke but I’m serious.)

  17. hgl4969 says: May 5, 2011 7:14 PM

    Hines Ward = Class Act, Great Dancer, Great Pittsburgh Steeler!

  18. ravensfan4life52 says: May 5, 2011 7:20 PM

    I hate Heinz Ward but I respect him for not playing the race card here and being honest.

  19. ramsyanks says: May 5, 2011 7:21 PM

    shame

  20. bengaldom2 says: May 5, 2011 7:24 PM

    He is a class act. I still have to hate the smile.

  21. nineroutsider says: May 5, 2011 7:25 PM

    @kyleortonsarm

    Yeah, kind of like how a Bronco ends up dead at least once a year.

  22. vahawker says: May 5, 2011 7:28 PM

    dirty on field, stand up guy off the field(this time, at least)

  23. steelersmichele says: May 5, 2011 7:32 PM

    rayman49–You must not be watching Dancing with the Stars (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Hines has topped the leaderboard since the show started and is in first place. He’s actually predicted to win.

  24. dwoofer says: May 5, 2011 7:32 PM

    Wow, you mean the police didn’t “act stupidly”? Good for Mr. Ward.

  25. Kaz says: May 5, 2011 7:32 PM

    Sound like the police was acting out their inner Navy Seal…

  26. therolandobottom says: May 5, 2011 7:43 PM

    Being a police officer I am happy to hear this from Hines Ward. I still don’t like the Steelers.

  27. theawkwardyears says: May 5, 2011 7:52 PM

    “It’s hard being Young, Blasian and Rich”

  28. sguy2130 says: May 5, 2011 7:53 PM

    I think he is just thankful the cops didn’t identify the fact he was with a transvesitie.

  29. billionsvsmillions says: May 5, 2011 7:54 PM

    kyleortonsarm says:
    May 5, 2011 6:44 PM
    To be fair though, being a Pittsburgh Steeler these days is almost probable cause. Why is your organization so full of terrible people? Anyway, pulling over a Steeler is about 50/50 you’ll find something illegal they’re doing, have done, or are leaving the scene of.

    — Ortons arm, as if no broncos ( if your a fan of )… yet alone any team in the league has not had issues off the field with their players? No.. never…

  30. bleedgreen80 says: May 5, 2011 7:54 PM

    hines is jus trying to brush this under the rug asap because that wasnt his wife he was out with at 1:30 am

  31. drtroyz says: May 5, 2011 7:59 PM

    Hines is pure class.

  32. redbear18 says: May 5, 2011 8:03 PM

    As a Ravens fan, I hate the Steelers, and as he is one of the franchise faces, I hate Hines Ward. Fortunately for him, he did the right thing and he has gained a lot of respect in my book. Good for him, at least I have other steelers I can hate (Rashard Mendenhall).

  33. ramsfanjoe says: May 5, 2011 8:10 PM

    Been their, done that. I had just met my future wife, she had her car break down, so I helped her tow it to her house, the cops pulled us over saying the car was stolen. We are both arrested, only in a few minutes to find out they ran the wrong license plate number by mistake. It was no biggie, for a few though I was wondering who I had just met. LOL

  34. trickbunny says: May 5, 2011 8:20 PM

    “Some people who were handcuffed by police at gunpoint over a misunderstanding would cry foul and say they were mistreated. Hines Ward is not one of those people.”

    Exactly. He cries about other things. :P

  35. fancyleague says: May 5, 2011 8:25 PM

    Hines is old, Korean, and rich. That doesn’t carry as much victim juice as young, black, and rich.

  36. dvnelson72 says: May 5, 2011 8:36 PM

    Refreshing.

    I’m a Georgia Tech fan, and even when he was a star at UGA I liked the guy. Anyone who can play any position a coach asks, and do it well while having fun is ok in my book.

  37. cup1981 says: May 5, 2011 8:46 PM

    kyleortonsarm says:
    May 5, 2011 6:44 PM
    To be fair though, being a Pittsburgh Steeler these days is almost probable cause. Why is your organization so full of terrible people? Anyway, pulling over a Steeler is about 50/50 you’ll find something illegal they’re doing, have done, or are leaving the scene of.

    ———————————————

    Ummm Liiiiiike???

    1) Roethlisberger never raped anyone. He was never charged and it was simply seen as a woman trying to get paid, which he never even paid her off. The other woman still has yet to start he civil suit, I bet she’s having second thoughts because she knows she’ll lose. Case of bad woman selection by Ben, not rape…

    2) Holmes had a quarter of a joint in his SUV. Wow, big dang deal. I bet I can name more NFL players that smoke weed than do not. Oh and FYI, the Steelers ‘gave’ him to N.Y.

    3) Yes, James Harrison got arrested for domestic assault, but no charges were brought and who knows the actual details.

    Three incidents in the span of 10 years. What is your team, I bet they have about the same — if not more — dirty laundry.

    On a more on-topic note… Good for Hines. He is a stand-up guy on and off of the field, despite players calling him dirty. They call him that simply because physical WRs are not supposed to exist. As I always say, do you want him to tap you on your shoulder and get you attention prior to knocking your head off? Imagine an NFL like that…

    “Ummm, excuse me Mr. Outside Linebacker. I’m gonna hit you now” *WHACK*

  38. thefiesty1 says: May 5, 2011 8:55 PM

    Good attitude Dude! Where’s all the screaming of racial profiling, like most of the players in a similar situation.

  39. tfbuckfutter says: May 5, 2011 9:01 PM

    Good for Hines to take this in stride.

    Truthfully, I didn’t read the articles, but just kind of assumed he was handcuffed as a result of his behavior during a confusing situation (granted I don’t know a whole lot about his personality in general), and things got blown out of proportion after he played the “Do you know who I am?” card.

    Nice to see a professional athlete acknowledge that someone in authority made an understandable mistake and there was nothing more sinister at work.

  40. turk2875 says: May 5, 2011 9:05 PM

    Maybe it was because your Aging, Korean, and Rich????

  41. bsizemore68 says: May 5, 2011 9:15 PM

    He is one smart dude,and Johnson has his head up his ass. I got pulled over for speeding by an African American police offer, he was just doing his job, I was going 15 miles per hour over the limited, so I guess he stop me because I’m white, poor,and old. Johnson will some day learn there is no cure for stupid. Bill

  42. raylewisisamurderer says: May 5, 2011 9:27 PM

    Im surprised that Rashard didnt get blamed for this.

  43. Deb says: May 5, 2011 9:30 PM

    @kyleortonsarm …

    You’re on every thread making these same silly, inaccurate comments. Are you still having nightmares of big bad Steelers stomping Denver on the way to SBXL? Poor baby. I’m glad the angelic Broncos can serenade your fears away. Cox, Alexander, Fields, and Dumervil probably learned nice tunes in jail.

  44. philtration says: May 5, 2011 9:31 PM

    See how easy that was Chris Johnson?

  45. Deb says: May 5, 2011 9:33 PM

    Hines, many thanks for conducting yourself with class and keeping your feet on the dance floor and out of your mouth.

  46. illmatic8582 says: May 5, 2011 9:33 PM

    Ok there is a big difference from police pulling Ward over because the car was reported stolen, and police going to Chris Johnson’s house because too many expensive cars are coming in. Ward was right, the police were doing their job in that instance, and Johnson also has every right to say because that was racial profiling.

  47. belichickee says: May 5, 2011 9:46 PM

    Thank you, illmatic8582, I was just coming to post the same thing. The cops were doing their job because the car Ward was riding in was reported stolen, hence the reason they were pulled over. I still don’t know why the cops showed up at Johnson’s place.

  48. Deb says: May 5, 2011 9:59 PM

    bleedgreen80 says:

    hines is jus trying to brush this under the rug asap because that wasnt his wife he was out with at 1:30 am
    ——————————————-

    He doesn’t have a wife, doofus. :roll:

  49. getweird4u says: May 5, 2011 10:31 PM

    dumb his friend reported the car stolen…if he cries foul would that not make him appear less than intelligent.Thanx for the non-story

  50. bucks12965 says: May 5, 2011 10:34 PM

    I’m not going to believe this version of the story. I’m waiting for Mendenhall to tell me what the truth is.

  51. richm2256 says: May 5, 2011 10:40 PM

    Wow!!!

    What the hell happened to Hines Ward????

    Where’s the loud-mouthed jacka$$ that we’ve come to know so well?

    This is the FIRST thing Ward has said that has made me respect him MORE for opening his yap. Very classy thing to say, and he’s right; the police had a car stopped which was reported stolen, they have to treat the occupants as potential suspects.

    There’s hope for the Steelers yet.

  52. tk1966 says: May 5, 2011 10:58 PM

    bleedgreen80 says: May 5, 2011 7:54 PM

    hines is jus trying to brush this under the rug asap because that wasnt his wife he was out with at 1:30 am

    __________________________________

    Um, it would be impossible for him to be out with his wife at 1:30 am – he isn’t married

    Good job making yourself look like the moron you obviously are

  53. packerfantastic says: May 5, 2011 11:04 PM

    Hines Ward is a good guy. As my screen name indicates, I am a Packer fan, but as a fan of football I root for guys like Hines.

  54. MichaelEdits says: May 5, 2011 11:13 PM

    I’m a poor white guy myself, and when I was pulled over by the police and taken to jail for four hours, due to a case of mistaken identity, I didn’t see anything improper about how I was handled. It happens.

    When I got pulled out of the Immigration line at the Hanoi Airport two days ago because of “cancelled passport,” that was just a big ole screw up. I made my flight on time, and there was no abuse, but I probably aged a few years. Always use the toilet BEFORE you go through Immigration.

  55. johnnyshore says: May 5, 2011 11:20 PM

    “Just doing their jobs.” I wonder if that’s what Ben said about the off-duty cops who were playing bodyguard and protected the bathroom while he was in it with that girl from Georgia. Read the news accounts before you give this a thumbs down.

  56. lostsok says: May 5, 2011 11:24 PM

    It used to be “driving while black.” Now it’s “driving while Steeler.”

    Of course, this is a profiling method with a much higher change of actually catching someone committing a crime!

  57. descendency says: May 5, 2011 11:35 PM

    If he were younger, blacker, or richer he might be mad.

    But he’s a classy guy. (and I’ll probably get hundreds of thumbs down by Ravens, Bengals, and Browns fans)

  58. sasquash20 says: May 6, 2011 12:54 AM

    I hate the Steelers but I love the way they play. Being an Eagles fan I have to hate them. That being said players like Ward are awesome. Hes productive as a pass catcher, nasty as a blocker, and a good team player. I think hes been one of the most underrated players of his time. I will get ripped for this but I would take him over a TO or a R.moss on my team any day of the week. Yeah them guys have the stats but they quit on plays and disrupt locker rooms, you never hear that about Hines. In my opinion first ballot HOFer.

  59. dieselfan44 says: May 6, 2011 2:04 AM

    From a Police Officer, Thanks for the way you handled this Hines. Sometimes people get offended for how we have to do our jobs. But unless you are behind the badge and have to defend your life at times then its hard to judge how law enforcement officers have to handle certain situations. Hopefully Hines’ statements and actions will be repeated by others.

  60. dieselfan44 says: May 6, 2011 2:13 AM

    tdotsteel….No felony vehicle stops cannot be handled any other way….and yes that is exactly the way cops are trained. If you had a son or daughter and they were a cop would you want them to simply walk up a vehilce that they think is stolen and be all sweet and nice when enteracting with the driver…sometimes the police don’t know what they got until they know what they got….but the most pressing objective in a situation like that is safety, then information can be gathered and the facts sorted out.

  61. tundey says: May 6, 2011 6:55 AM

    You can’t compare this to the Chris Johnson situation. Hines Ward was indeed riding in a car that had been reported stolen whereas Chris Johnson was in his own house. Come on! How can you not see the difference? You are in your own, hosting a TV crew and the police think you are dealing drugs? How’s that a logical conclusion if there wasn’t some bias on the part of the police?

  62. jaguarsman says: May 6, 2011 7:11 AM

    Police alway profile cars on how they look.I have been pulled over many of time just because I had tinted window and rims.Its not a black thing.I bet the police couldn’t even see if they were black or white because of there tinted window.I do belive some cops do profile because they are black but I don’t think it was in this case.

  63. okiny says: May 6, 2011 7:18 AM

    He better play the race card soon or “Reverends” Sharpton and Jackson may revoke his Black card

  64. jcdavey2011 says: May 6, 2011 7:40 AM

    this is why i love ward

    i’m not a steeler fan, but i LOVE watching how this guy plays, he’s like a defensive player playing wr, love to see him leveling linebackers and the like

    what a great guy!

  65. dickroy says: May 6, 2011 7:55 AM

    To be fair though, being a Pittsburgh Steeler these days is almost probable cause. Why is your organization so full of terrible people? Anyway, pulling over a Steeler is about 50/50 you’ll find something illegal they’re doing, have done, or are leaving the scene of.
    ————————————————–
    This statement is about as dumb as Chris Johnson’s

  66. moochzilla says: May 6, 2011 8:48 AM

    All I’m saying is this – I could never, ever imagine having a cop pull his gun on me. Ever. And I live in Philly, grew up in a working class neighborhood.

    It never happened to me. Or anyone I know.

    And I’m not even rich!

  67. Deb says: May 6, 2011 11:38 AM

    @johnnyshore …

    Maybe you should have read the police files before you posted. The story of the bodyguard blocking the door was the invention of the sorority sister who instigated the false rape accusation.

    When Ben refused the accuser’s repeated requests to come back to their place for a private party, he remarked to his friends that it was another lawsuit waiting to happen. Her sorority sister then began ragging him about the Nevada suit. Ben personally threw her out of the party, and that bodyguard wouldn’t allow her back in. Later, she is the one who dragged the accuser to police and insisted she’d been raped while the accuser denied even having sex. The accuser eventually changed her story to match that of her friend, who also embellished with the tale of the bodyguard at the door.

    Yes, the reporters ate that up with a spoon. But if you read the police files, you’d find the story was told only by two of the accuser’s sorority sisters and was refuted by all the other witnesses, including the club owner. Most interesting was the accuser’s own written statement, which talked of how she and Ben rolled around kissing on the filthy hallway floor before entering the bathroom. Seen photos of the area? Small hallway. If that off-duty cop was standing guard out there while they were rolling around on the floor, he was doing the Spiderman thing up the wall.

    City council members from that cops town were telling everyone how they were going to fire him for his bodyguard role as soon as the police files were released and they had time to review them. That was the last we heard of that. One those files were released, they knew the girls invented the story. Which is why Prosecutor Fred Bright announced to the public more than a year ago when explaining why no charges were filed that he hoped the sorority sisters had learned their lesson.

    Nice to see you did some actual fact-checking before posting. :roll:

  68. sojumaster says: May 6, 2011 5:12 PM

    tdotsteel says:May 5, 2011 7:00 PM

    Couldn’t the situation have have been diffused without the handcuffs at gunpoint. I am sorry this is not acceptable. There was a presumption of guilt without assessing the situation or getting the facts. Isn’t this what the police are trained to do.

    ————————————————
    It _IS_ protocol to handcuff everyone in such a situation. The Police Officers have NO idea what they could be facing. Handcuffing is used for the protection of ALL people involved until the situation is figured out.
    ————————————————

    bleedgreen80 says:May 5, 2011 7:54 PM

    hines is jus trying to brush this under the rug asap because that wasnt his wife he was out with at 1:30 am

    ——————————————-
    Hines is divorced.
    ——————————————-

    Some people here need some help in reading comprehension. No where does it say the driver was a “She” or “He”; so stop the assumption.

    The driver did not forget where it was parked, the valet could not find the car, not the driver.

  69. gmak2002 says: May 6, 2011 8:04 PM

    Hines ward is a class act no matter what his race.
    I read some comments about it being out of line for the police to respond this way. Fact: Violent crimes against law enforcement agents are on the rise. The people saying thing about blacks being targeted, Fact: The crime rate is higher among blacks and hispanics than other ethenticities. Unfortunitly, most of the violent crimes are against thier own race. Please work within your own comunities to change these stats before pointing fingers. Any questions or negative feedback on my comments look up the statistics first.

  70. thehammer56 says: May 9, 2011 10:26 AM

    @Kyle – “To be fair though, being a Pittsburgh Steeler these days is almost probable cause. Why is your organization so full of terrible people?”

    You must be thinking of the Ravens. Or Raiders. Or somewhere in Ohio… Seriously!

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