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02-02-2008, 08:46 AM
Steelers' Ward gains attention for charity work
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, February 2, 2008

PHOENIX - Hines Ward will not participate in Sunday's game, but the Steelers wide receiver may snag an award that he said would mean almost as much to him as winning Super Bowl MVP honors two years ago.

Ward is one of four finalists for Walter Payton Man of the Year, and he will find out Sunday if he has won the award that is named after the late, great running back and honors an NFL player annually for his work in charity.

"I grew up a huge Walter Payton fan," Ward said Friday, "and this gives me a correlation with him."

Ward is involved with a number of charitable causes, and the one that may be dearest to him is his work on behalf of biracial children in South Korea.

He started the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation in 2006 to help biracial children in his native South Korea.

Ward, the son of an African-American father and Korean mother, said biracial people in South Korea face widespread discrimination and that he wants to give children in particular hope for the future.

Even growing up in America, Ward said he was often teased by other children because of his mixed heritage.

"For them to be discriminated against, that sickens me," Ward said of biracial children in South Korea. "I try to tell the kids 'Feel good to be different.' "

Ward, who has hosted a contingent of Korean children for a weekend each of the last two seasons, said winning the Super Bowl MVP Award gave him the platform to promote his cause.

He is such a celebrity in South Korea that he has been invited to and plans to attend (with his mother) the inauguration of newly elected president Lee Myung-bak near the end of the month.

One thing that is not on Ward's offseason agenda is making peace with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, simply, he said, because there are no problems between the two.

Ward seemed to take issue with Roethlisberger's recently saying he wanted a tall wide receiver. But the four-time Pro Bowler said he simply answered a question truthfully when asked about Roethlisberger's comments.

Reiterating what Roethlisberger said earlier this week, Ward said the two got quite a chuckle out of their supposed feud.

"To be on ESPN, we were sitting back and laughing at some of the comments that Ben and I were bickering back and forth," Ward said. "I was in Atlanta and people were like, 'What's going on with you and Ben?' I said, 'Nothing that I know of.'

"We hung out (Thursday) night. We've been through so much together. We're fine."

And because Ward has done so much for charity, Sunday could be special for him even though he is not playing in Super Bowl XLII.

"He really does a lot for Pittsburgh and the community," Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said. "He'll do anything you want if you ask him."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_550412.html

stillers4me
02-02-2008, 09:54 AM
Hines is a good man.

Rhee Rhee
02-02-2008, 12:46 PM
He's a true professional and better be a first ballot HOFer...

19ward86
02-02-2008, 12:55 PM
hines ward is a 1 of a kind guy in my book. he deserves to win this.

steel striker
02-02-2008, 06:32 PM
No doubt about Hines is a great guy and, I'm glad he is in a steeler uniform. I love watching him play. Besides all of that he is such a tough player and, I think he is one of the best all around WR's in the game today.

Big7BenHOF
02-02-2008, 10:05 PM
Good 'ol Hines.

Galax Steeler
02-03-2008, 06:11 AM
Good luck on the award hines.