I know the Hines Ward DUI story has been examined to the fullest, but I wanted a chance to throw my hat into the ring.
As more and more details are released by Georgia police, it does not look good for Hines. These days it seems NFL players getting mixed up with DUI issues has become for too common. At this point, it is almost expected that some NFL player will be caught driving impaired during the offseason; and many times it happens during the season as well.
Hearing that another NFL player was caught driving under the influence really did not faze me, until I saw it was Hines.
I was listening to 93.7 The Fan on the radio yesterday when a caller chimed in with an interesting story. He said that just last year Hines Ward came to speak at his son’s high school to preach the importance of staying out of trouble. The caller said Hines stressed the importance of staying off drugs, and the dangers of driving drunk.
This is the Hines Ward that the people of Pittsburgh have come to love. Hines has always been a philanthropic man, and an upstanding citizen to the city of Pittsburgh. But after this recent arrest, Hines definitely loses some of his credibility. How can Hines sit in front of a group of kids and tell them the dangers of drunk driving when he can’t refrain from doing so himself. Many of the kids that Hines spoke to that day look up to him as a role model.
Now I have never been in favor of blindly accepting all athletes as role models. That’s just not fair to put on someone who is not ready for that status. There are plenty of athletes….Ben Roethlisberger, who are not fit to be a role model no matter how high their celebrity status reaches. But Hines is different. He was not given a role model status simply because he is a great football player, he has asked to be given that role by his own actions.
Hines could not have picked a worse time to get in trouble either. His recent victory on Dancing with the Stars has elevated him to a greater celebrity status then he has ever had. His DUI has been covered in publications ranging from local newspapers, to the recent issue of US Weekly. It is clear that for the time being, Hines has been knocked off his perch as one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved athlete.