Posted by Ryan Wilson
In the days before Twitter we never would have known Ray Rice's thoughts on Hines Ward's recent DUI arrest. Now information -- no matter how important, innocuous or irrelevant -- literally travels around the globe in seconds, and as news-gathering organizations our biggest job is sifting through it all to find the choicest nuggets.
Rice, a running back for the Ravens, tweeted last week that Ward, a wideout for the Steelers, "will miss week 1 when the lockout ends DUI charge not a good look." As it happens, Baltimore and Pittsburgh face off the first week of the season.
Eight days later, the story is in the news again. The Baltimore Sun caught up with Rice, who is hosting a football camp at Towson University, and he elaborated on his initial tweet.
"People look up to you, Hines," he said. "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."
There's no disputing those last two sentences, but even as Steelers fans we couldn't bring ourselves to sit through DWTS.
And Rice isn't just speaking from the perspective of a division rival. Drunk driving is a personal issue for him; His cousin was killed by a drunk driver in 1998, and last August he worked with the state of Maryland to campaign against drunk driving.
"Drunk driving is one of those things that hits a soft spot in my life," Rice said. "I don't care if you're a Pittsburgh Steeler or a Baltimore Raven or whoever you are, if you get caught drunk driving, that's not a smart judgment. … We make enough money. It's $150 for a car service for the rest of the night."
All undeniable points, and the last one is mentioned most by fans whenever a professional athlete is arrested for driving drunk.
As for Ward, his manager told TMZ on July 9 that Ward wasn't impaired when he was pulled over. Seven days later, Ward posted the following message to Facebook: “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.”
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