Ravens running back Ray Rice said he never intended to disrespect Hines Ward when he commented about the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver's DUI arrest a week ago, but he still stands by his remarks.
On Rice's Twitter account, he posted that Ward's drunken-driving charge was "not a good look" and predicted that he would be suspended for the season opener against the Ravens.
"People look up to you, Hines," said Rice, who is hosting a football camp at Towson University this week. "You just were on TV with Dancing with the Stars. Ravens fans were upset that you won Dancing with the Stars but they still watched you. That shows your charisma and character. You've got a legacy in the NFL that no one can take away from you. But if you hurt somebody drunk driving, that takes away a lot."
Drunk driving touches an emotional chord with Rice. His cousin, Myshaun Rice, was killed by a drunken driver in 1998. He was 24 years old and had two children.
Last August, Rice helped Maryland kick off "Checkpoint Strikeforce," a campaign that uses sobriety checkpoints to get impaired drivers off the road.
"Drunk driving is one of those things that hits a soft spot in my life," Rice said. "I don't care if you're a Pittsburgh Steeler or a Baltimore Raven or whoever you are, if you get caught drunk driving, that's not a smart judgment."
Rice added, "We make enough money. It's $150 for a car service for the rest of the night."
Ward was arrested in Georgia on July 9 after an officer saw his Aston Martin weaving over the lines of the road and then hitting a curb.
The former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player released a statement through his manager that insisted he was not impaired by alcohol, a claim contradicted by the police report that says he failed field sobriety tests.
"I didn't put it on Twitter to disrespect," Rice said. "I just said 'it's not a good look.' Their whole town knows it's not a good look. It doesn't matter what team you play for. When it comes across the ticker that you got arrested for a DUI, it's not a good look."
Rice said Ward could learn from Ravens wide receiver Donte' Stallworth. It was two years ago when Stallworth killed a Miami construction worker with his car while driving under the influence of alcohol. He served 24 days in jail and was suspended from the NFL for a year.
"He will tell you that his mistakes would never, ever wish that on nobody," Rice said. "He is very remorseful for that, and I believe in second chances. And he will never make that mistake again."
Rice's comments on Twitter started a brief social media feud with Steelers safety Ryan Clark, who wrote, "Thought we were all better than that. Wouldn't speak negative of you."
Clark later instigated Ravens players and fans when he told a Pittsburgh radio station that the Ravens have to beat Pittsburgh more in order for them to become the Steelers' rivals.
"He was basically calling us out to disrespect us," Rice said Monday. "Rivalries are tough, hard-hitting games. We respect the Steelers. They are our rivals. They've won many Super Bowls; we've won one. I understand that. But the way the game is played between the two teams, you've got to respect the rivalry, Ryan. Ryan knows we bring it to them and they bring it to us. He's had to tackle me a few times, and I've got the best of him."