The Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they will allow their players to opt out of wearing the Antwon Rose helmet tribute if they choose to do so. Following lineman Alejandro Villanueva’s decision to honor a deceased Black military hero instead of the 17-year-old, other players started to speak out about the Rose tribute.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey recently said he did not know much about the situation that led to Antwon Rose’s death. Pouncey said he received “limited information” on Rose’s case. Supposedly, the Steelers organization chose the helmet tribute – not the players.
Additionally, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said the final decision to honor Rose was confirmed by “people upstairs” in the organization.
Controversy Over Steelers Antwon Rose Tribute
At first, the Steelers organization sided with storylines that Rose was fatally shot by police at a traffic stop for no apparent reason. Yet, the initial story on the team’s official website left out a key portion of the story. Rose allegedly took part in a drive-by shooting before the traffic stop. In fact, the victim of the drive-by claims Rose was the shooter.
Many Steelers players disagreed with the tribute after learning more about the situation. Some of the players did not learn the full context of the story until after wearing the tribute decals on their helmet during their “Monday Night Football” matchup against the New York Giants.
The Steelers original plan had the team wearing Rose’s name on their helmets and hats for the full 2020 season. In a statement given o TMZ Sports, the organization sounded like they are backtracking on the stance. Players will now have more freedom to choose who they pay tributes to.
“We acknowledge there could be changes this Sunday for players relating to helmet decals. That will be an individual decision.”