Hines Ward on Life

I'm not a big sports fan. Honestly I have slept through more football games than I've watched. However a quick read of Hines's Wikipedia Page and I quickly gained a respect for his work ethic. He has also overcome quite a few obstacles including a broken home, racial discrimination, and injuries. Below are the notes most are quotes. They may not be word for word, but pretty close.

Lessons To Live By

"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." WARD stands for "We Will Always Rise Above Difficulty" I'm never going to buy into what people tell me I can't do.


I didn't know my real mom was my mom. I didn't understand why mommy wasn't living with me. It was culture shock when the court gave her custody. It was hard for me to fit in being multiracial. It made it difficult to have an identity.

I could have easily got myself in trouble. My mom worked hard doing her part. My part was staying out of trouble.

In the fourth grade I was a nuckle head. The principal called my mom to tell her I was going to be paddled. But my mom said "No!" She came to the school and paddled me herself in front of my whole class.

My mom lives with me. There's not enough money in the world to pay my mom back for what she did for me.

Life as a child

I was the last guy to get picked in the team at recess. I ripped the tag off the guess jeans at the mall and sowed it on the wrong side of my Walmart jeans trying to fit in. I was found out because I put the patch on the wrong side. Success at sports changed things. But the guys on my team were jealous of the attention I got.


Math was my best subject. I liked math. I got my degree in economics.

One problem I see with African American youth. They may be a bright kid but they try to act hard so their friends won't give them a hard time. This is big in the black community. If you try to study you're labeled a sellout.

Money & Success

Nobody in my family made the kind of money I was making. Nobody could tell me how to spend money. For the black community we watched videos, and I wanted to live that lifestyle. I didn't have anyone to tell me how to use money. That is a crazy experience to have that power and not know how to deal with it.


My 3rd year, I only got maybe 3 attempts a game so I decided I was going to go out hit somebody every chance I get.

Don't believe in the naysayers.

We won the Super Bowl. I had achieved everything a man could in the NFL, but there was still a big void in my life. I went home. I had been ashamed of my Korean roots. We went back to Korea and I found all these kids just like me(bi-racial). So I started my foundation.

Life after Football

Everything comes to an end at some point. When a coach looks you in the eye and says we're not going to bring you back. That's hard. My ankle was shredded. I didn't think it would be fair to go to another team and not give them the same level effort I gave the Steelers. I wanted to go out strong.

Dancing with the Stars

I was a nervous wreck. I was one of those kids, I didn't go to my proms because I was afraid to dance. I kept thinking, Just don't let me be the first one to go home. Everyone thought I was crazy. Told me I couldn't do it. I don't buy in to what people tell me I can't do.


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