It wasn’t all smiles and happiness while the Pittsburgh Steelers checked into the dorms at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe for training camp on Friday. The same day a lawsuit was filed against Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and his brother; Dolphins center Mike, in Miami by three people claiming the brothers assaulted them at a nightclub a few weeks ago. Saturday, Maurkice addressed the lawsuit.
Three people are alleging in a suit that the Pounceys assaulted them around 4:00 am on July 12 and are also suing the nightclub where they claim the assault took place. The trio is seeking a minimum of $15,000 in damages. No criminal charges have been filed against either brother and the alleged victims never even responded to requests by the Miami Police Department to give statements and or make formal complaints.
As reported by ESPN Steelers reporter Scott Brown, Maurkice addressed what he claims to be false allegations.
"“Anytime I’ve made a mistake in my NFL career I’ve admitted to it. For something like this to happen and have no involvement is upsetting and hurtful to me and it’s on my mind like crazy.We hired our own ex-police officer to go out with us the entire time and for something like this to happen is truly unbelievable. I just want to apologize to any fans that take this the wrong way. For people to say bad things, it stinks, but sometimes you’ve got to deal with that in life and move on.The only thing that stinks about it is I tried to keep a clean nose throughout this whole process this year, and having to deal with this, it stinks. It really does.” – Maurkice Pouncey”"
In response to the lawsuit filed against the brothers, the Pounceys are filing a countersuit per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The brothers’ lawyer, Jeffrey M. Ostrow, gave a statement to PFT.
"“As I previously stated, Mike and Maurkice Pouncey had absolutely no involvement whatsoever in the alleged incident that evening and did nothing wrong. This claim is a complete sham. The plaintiffs and their lawyer are perpetuating these lies in a bid for notoriety and financial gain. We intend to defend this case through trial if necessary and will be filing a counterclaim for malicious prosecution and defamation.” – Jeffrey M. Ostrow"
Not the best way for Maurkice to start training camp, obviously. The 25-year old center just signed a five-year $44 million extension this offseason and is coming back from an ACL injury that sidelined him that majority of 2013. The troubling part about this is that this is a civil suit filed, these people have decided, for whatever reason, to completely avoid going through the criminal court system even though they feel that they’ve been victimized. This way they don’t have to provide the same type of evidence or proof that the Pounceys did anything as a prosecutor would if criminal charges were filed.
Maurkice is right, this does stink. If the twins were involved in an assault, especially an assault on a woman, I’ll be the first one in line expecting their suspension or even removal from the league. The worst part about this situation is that a lawsuit isn’t exactly the way to find out exactly what happened at that nightclub. If the Pounceys are telling the truth that they weren’t involved and did nothing wrong, I hope they can fight this and clear their names and I reiterate that perhaps next year’s birthday celebration should be done with a bit more modesty and less Miami nightclubness.