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(L-R) Maurkice and Mike Pouncey participate in the Court of Dreams Celebrity Basketball Game at American Airlines Arena on April 19, 2015, in Miami, Florida. | Source: Thaddaeus McAdams / Getty

A pair of former NFL players who are also siblings with questionable reputations off the field were photographed together smiling in a viral photo allegedly taken at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida.

While it’s unclear when the photo was taken, its caption with a social media post that’s gone viral said twin brothers Mike and Maurkice Pouncey were there “to see Trump.” If true, their apparent support for the four-times indicted former president would be at odds with sentiments expressed by other notable Black sports figures – a group that has both been attacked by Trump as unpatriotic and suggested that Trump is racist.

The photo of the Pouncey twins was posted to the social media app formerly known as Twitter and shows the two biracial men with an unidentified white woman standing between them who was also smiling broadly. The Patriot Takes account – which describes itself as providing “Dedicated research monitoring and exposing right-wing extremism and other threats to democracy” – posted the photo with the following caption to its more than 475,000 followers: “Former NFL player Mike and Maurkice Pouncey at Mar-a-Lago to see Trump.”


While the social post itself was only “liked” a few hundred times and far fewer reposted it, the photo was viewed more than 137,000 times and included hundreds of responses, many of which drew on the Pouncey twins’ apparent propensity for getting into trouble.

“Can anyone be shocked to find out the Pouncey twins are Trump supporters? Backing a criminal again,” one social media critic wrote.

A number of the responses pointed to the Pouncey twins’ friendship with former NFL star wide receiver Aaron Hernandez, who was ultimately convicted of murder and died by suicide in prison. The Pouncey twins were memorably among the loudest supporters of Hernandez in the face of overwhelming evidence he committed multiple murders in and around Boston. The Pouncey twins attended the University of Florida with Hernandez and the three were very close friends.

Maurkice later apologized for wearing the hat and said he fully recognized “the seriousness of the situation involving my former teammate, and I regret that my actions appear to make light of that serious situation.”

In 2015, the Pouncey twins made a concerted effort to change their reputations, which not only stemmed from their defense of Hernandez but also an accusation of beating someone up at one of their birthday parties as well as the involvement of Mike in a racist bullying scandal within the Miami Dolphins organization, for which he starred for seven seasons.

“It’s perception over reality,” NBC Sports reported that Mike Pouncey said at the time. “We know that you’ve got to do the things right on and off the football field, and we learned over the course of our careers to do that now. We’re just glad to be positive role models in our community.”

Maurkice Pouncey admitted “some mistakes in the past” and said they “learned” from them. “I’m glad they happened because you always got to learn in life. We were young … then, but we’re grown up and trying to be the positive role models — something for these kids back in Lakeland to look up to — and it means a lot to us. Anytime we did get in trouble in the past, it hit us in the heart. We learned the hard way.”

However, a few years after saying he wanted to repair his image, Maurkice was notably the only member of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020 to refuse to wear Antwon Rose‘s name on his helmet in a gesture paying homage to the unarmed Black 17-year-old honors student killed when Pittsburgh police shot him in the back.

The ironic thing about the Pounceys’ alleged support of Trump is that they were likely included in the former president’s broad attacks on Black athletes in the wake of the national anthem kneeling protest against police brutality that started in the NFL.

While Trump suggested the protest was unpatriotic – a stance he has stuck with – Maurkice in 2020 pushed back against that narrative during a radio interview.

Maurkice specifically said the kneeling protest was about “police brutality. When people are saying it’s about the army and the flag, it’s just not right,” he continued without mentioning Trump by name. “Times are changed now, and people are seeing some of the true colors of America.”

Fast-forward three years and it appears that the Pouncey twins are now singing a new tune.


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