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Monday, April 23, 2018

Mike Pouncey avoids apologizing for wearing ‘Free Hernandez’ hat


Last weekend, twin brothers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey had a regrettable lapse in judgment when they wore hats that said “Free Hernandez” on them during their birthday bash at a nightclub in Miami. Maurkice, who plays center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, apologized with a message on Twitter just two days after wearing the hat. Mike, who plays for the Miami Dolphins, has remained silent.

On Sunday, Mike was asked to address his decision to support Aaron Hernandez while his former Florida teammate awaits trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

“I’m here to talk about football,” he said, via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “After football.”

It was believed that the Steelers put pressure on Maurkice to apologize for wearing the hat, but Dolphins coach Joe Philbin would not say if he did the same to Mike.

“Any conversation I may or may not have had with Mike will stay internal,” Philbin said, according to Around the League. “I will tell you that it’s important for every member of this organization — player, coach — to represent the Miami Dolphins in a first-class manner.”

I can understand Mike not wanting to get into a full-blown discussion about the hat after Miami’s first training camp session. You don’t want to become a distraction, but would it have been difficult for him to say he made a dumb decision and tell reporters that’s the last he’s going to say about it? Refusing to address the issue simply magnifies it.

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