Steelers' Ward thanks fans for backing him after DUI arrest

Hines Ward used social media to make his first public comments since his arrest on a drunken-driving charge last week.

The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver posted a message on his official Facebook page Friday, thanking fans for their support while referencing his legal issues and the upcoming season.

"Fans -- I appreciate all the love and support. Thank you! It means a lot to me," Ward wrote. "I have a great respect for the legal system and am leaving things in the hands of my attorney.

"I can't wait for football," he continued. "I've been working out hard. I want to get back to the big show again this year. We have some unfinished business to take care of. So we will be ready to go when we are given the Green light. Here we go! Hines."

Police say Ward had glassy, bloodshot eyes and failed field sobriety tests during a July 9 traffic stop outside Atlanta.

A transit police officer pulled Ward over just before 2:30 a.m. after he left his lane and at one point hit a curb in his gray Aston Martin, the police report says. The transit police officer called a DeKalb County police officer, who wrote in the report that the former Super Bowl MVP and reigning "Dancing With the Stars" champ strongly smelled of alcohol.

Ward's manager released a statement following the arrest, refuting the claim that the four-time Pro Bowl receiver was impaired behind the wheel.

Ward, 35, is scheduled to appear Oct. 6 in DeKalb County State Court. He faces a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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