Ravens' Rice Has Good Reason To Criticize Hines Ward

DEKALB COUNTY, GA - JULY 09: In this police mug shot from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, Pittsburg Steelers' receiver Hines Ward poses for a mug shot, on July 09, 2011 in DeKalb County, Georgia. According to reports Ward was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. (Photo by DeKalb County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)

The recent spat of words between Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark over WR Hines Ward's arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) had a serious background to what started it in the first place. Rice's cousin was killed by a drunk driver over a dozen years ago, according to a story on NFL.com, referencing an article by the Baltimore Sun.

Rice is also a spokesperson in Maryland in a state-sponsored commercial against drunk driving. His own personal experience makes the topic one that he has every right to be outspoken on and had Clark known about Rice's family tragedy, perhaps he would have just left it alone. Instead, he chose to respond, defending his teammate, which might have been admirable but certainly unnecessary had he be aware of the story behind Rice's comments.

Too often, players around the league are unwilling to tolerate another's comments, and use the media and especially Twitter to spout their venom towards their rivals, usually making more of a fool of themselves as they were attempting to do to their intended target. Once again, another member of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes just one more poor decision in the off season, joining Ward and James Harrison in the "think-before-you-speak-doghouse."

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