While his brother Mike has avoided the topic, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has again apologized for wearing a “Free Hernandez” hat.
Maurkice apologized on Twitter shortly after he was photographed wearing a hat supporting his former college teammate Aaron Hernandez, who is now charged with murder.
And upon reporting to Steelers camp, Maurkice said again he made a mistake in judgment.
“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.”
So far, Dolphins center Mike hasn’t followed suit, but Maurkice indicated that might not have been his call.
“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 urge to say nothing at all is tempting, and the Patriots players who worked with Hernandez are taking that tack. But there’s a bit of an innocent bystander quality to being a Patriot who happened to work with an accused murderer.
The Pouncey brothers actively supported Hernandez. One of them realizes it was a mistake, and he’ll be able to move by virtue of taking responsibility.