Pittsburgh Steelers’ star defender Minkah Fitzpatrick says the decision to honor Antwon Rose Jr. was made by team management and not by the players, according to Profootballtalk.com.
The Steelers organization announced they would honor Rose throughout the season prior to their first game against the New York Giants. Players put decals on their helmets, while coaches wore sideline hats with Rose’s name displayed.
Rose, a 17-year-old African American, was shot and killed by East Pittsburg police in June 2018. It would later revealed that Rose was a suspect in a drive-by shooting earlier that evening.
Some players were remorseful for honoring Rose and said more research was needed to make their own decision.
“It was mostly made by the people upstairs and everything else like that,” Fitzpatrick said, per ESPN. “Don’t know exactly who. Don’t know exactly how. But we did. We knew that we were going to have somebody on the back of our helmets, and it wasn’t exactly clear on what it was going to be. It was mostly from everyone upstairs.”
Steelers’ Players will Make Decisions
Fitzpatrick isn’t the only Steelers player to voice concern over the team’s choice to honor Rose. Offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva did not have Rose’s name printed on his helmet during the opening game. He instead wrote the name of Army Veteran Alwyn Cashe on his helmet.
Fellow offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey said earlier this week he regrets the team’s decision to honor Rose and would now make his own decision on who to honor.
“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: NBC Sports