Maurkice Pouncey: Not involved
LATROBE, Pa. -- Maurkice Pouncey denied having any involvement in assaults that allegedly occurred at a South Beach nightclub earlier this month during a birthday party for the Pittsburgh Steelers center and his twin brother Mike.
"Any time I've made a mistake in my NFL career I've admitted to it," Maurkice Pouncey said Saturday, prior to the Steelers' first practice of training camp. "For something like this to happen and have no involvement is upsetting and hurtful to me and it's on my mind like crazy."
Three people allege that the Pounceys assaulted them at around 4 a.m. ET on July 12. They have filed a civil suit against the brothers as well as Cameo nightclub and are seeking $15,000 in damages.
Neither brother has been charged by police.
Their lawyer released a statement last week that claimed allegations against the brothers were for financial gain and he threatened to countersue. Maurkice Pouncey said neither he nor his brother, a center for the Miami Dolphins, were involved in any fight on the night in question.
Maurkice Pouncey said the brothers took precautions to prevent an incident from happening during their party.
"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," Maurkice Pouncey said. "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 Pounceys drew heavy criticism during their birthday last year when they were photographed wearing hats that said "Free Hernandez." Pictures of the twins supporting their former University of Florida teammate Aaron Hernandez, who had been charged with double murder, went viral.
Maurkice Pouncey later apologized for using poor judgment.
The Steelers signed Pouncey to a five-year contract extension last month even though the three-time Pro Bowler missed most of last season with a torn ACL. Pouncey, who became one of the highest-paid centers in the NFL, took part in offseason practices and coach Mike Tomlin said he won't be limited in camp.
Pouncey said he has "no fear" at all that the lawsuit brought against him and his brother will result in discipline from the NFL, which can punish players for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
"The only thing that [stinks] about it is I tried to keep a clean nose throughout this whole process this year," Pouncey said of coming back from a major knee injury, "and having to deal with this, it [stinks]. It really does."
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