Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey says he regrets paying tribute to Antwon Rose during the team’s first game.
Rose a 17-year-old African American, was and killed shot by East Pittsburg police in June 2018. Pouncey claims he didn’t know the whole story behind Rose’s death, according to TMZ Sports.
Pouncey Clarifies Stance
“I’d like to personally clarify what transpired this past Monday night in regard to having Antwon Rose’s name on the back of my helmet,” Pouncey says. “I was given limited information on the situation regarding Antwon, and I was unaware of the whole story surrounding his death and what transpired during the trial following the tragedy. I should have done more research to fully understand what happened in its entirety.”
The Steelers organization announced earlier this week that players and coaches would honor Rose for the entire 2020 football season. Players put decals on their helmets, while coaches wore sideline hats with Rose’s name displayed.
In a statement posted to the team’s official website, team leadership explained their decision to honor Rose.
“On the night of June 19, 2018, the car Antwon Rose Jr., who is black, was a passenger in was pulled over by the East Pittsburgh Police. While the driver was being handcuffed on suspicion of being involved in an incident that happened earlier that evening, a frightened Rose fled from the car. The cell phone video a bystander captured showed Rose running, and then you could hear gunshots and see as he was fatally shot in the back three times by a white East Pittsburgh Police Officer.”
Rose was a suspect in a drive-by shooting earlier that evening. The shooting victim told police Rose pulled the trigger.
The officer who shot Rose was found not guilty of all charges including first degree murder.
Pouncey becomes the second Steelers player to say they will go against the team and not honor Rose. Fellow offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva chose to write the name of an Army Sergeant killed in Iraq. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin supports Vilanueva’s choice.
Pouncey Will Make Own Decision
Pouncey says he will now make his own decisions on who to honor going forward.
“I will make my own decision about what to wear on the back of my helmet,” he says. “”Make no mistake, I am against racism and I believe the best thing I can do is to continue helping repair relationships between the police and their communities. System racism issues have occurred in our country for too long, and that needs to stop.”
H/T: TMZ Sports