NFL Analyst & Former Star Receiver Discusses his Korean Heritage
Hines Ward is a champion on and off the football field who has come a long way from his birthplace in Seoul, South Korea. The retired National Football League (NFL) wide receiver, who is currently an NBC studio analyst, holds every receiving record in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Born in Seoul in 1976 to a Korean mother and an African American father, he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and has become an advocate for the social acceptance of foreigners and mixed-race youth in South Korea. In addition, President Barack Obama, who has called Hines Ward “the happiest man in football,” appointed Hines a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP of Super Bowl XL is a four-time Pro Bowler, the all-time team leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, and the only receiver in Steeler history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for four straight seasons. He was named to the Steelers’ 75th Season All-Time Team and on January 1 2012, his last catch as a Pittsburgh Steeler made NFL history as Hines became the eighth player to reach 1,000 career receptions. Since his retirement from the NFL, he has appeared on television and the silver screen, making cameos in The Dark Knight Rises and The Walking Dead, and championing the dance floor as a reality TV star, winning Season 12 of ABC's hit dance competition Dancing with the Stars. His many achievements have resulted in Hines being featured on the cover of such publications as TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire, and as one of GQ's 2009 "Men of the Year.” Hines Ward shared insight into his Korean roots and his many achievements with Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie.