Sharks star Nico Hines has described the past few months as “the hardest time of my life” after his mother was found guilty of knowingly supplying heroin to her.
The case made unwanted headlines for Hynes, who thrived on facing the game after winning a Dally M medal in 2022 in his first season with the Sharks after making the big move from Melbourne.
Hynes will likely be ruled out of Cronulla’s Round 1 match against the Rabbitohs on Saturday night, but his minor leg injury is nothing compared to the pain he has experienced off the field.
“It’s no secret that it was a challenging time… probably the hardest time of my life,” he said.
“Especially with the way it was talked about in the media and seeing my mom being dragged through the media and the way people reacted to it.
“It’s hard. I’m dealing with it as best I can and putting things in order so that I can handle it.
“I’ve spoken to her and she’s fine and she’s doing the best she can.”
The quarterback endured a rough road to the NFL as he had to overcome a number of challenges, but he showed in his recent performance of the game for the All-Star Game that his mind still very much works despite what’s going on around him.
Hines took his mother to the Dally M Awards last year, and he said he will continue to support her pending the verdict.
He said, “Everyone is going to have opinions on this story and they’re going to react the way they want to respond to it, but I’m going to stand by my mom every step of the way and be there for her,” he said.
“I’m going to visit her, and what happened, I don’t think it was the right outcome.
“You can’t really judge that, but there’s no way in the world I’m leaving her high and dry right now. She needs support and I need mine.
“I’ll have my support and she’ll have hers and I’ll be there for her. Come sentencing day, maybe I’ll say a little more and hopefully we’ll get a better result after that.”
“But, at the end of the day, it is what it is and I have a job to do here for the Sharks and I have a job to do as a role model to inspire the next generation of people and that is what I am here to do.”
While Haynes will miss Saturday’s game, the Sharks received an early season boost with Jesse Ramian extending his stay at the Shire for another three seasons.
And the wave of contracting with Cronulla, which imprisoned outside full-backs Ronaldo Mulitalo and Siosefa Talakay in new deals, continues, with the club confident that it will have more good news for its fans in the coming weeks.
“I’m happy to have it all. I love playing here at the Sharks. It’s been a home away from home since I got here,” said Rami.
“I’m really looking forward to next season; we have a tight group and I think we can do something special this year.”
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