I wrote here about how the Pittsburgh Steelers will be honoring Antwon Rose, a drive-by shooting participant and probable shooter, by wearing his name on their helmets this season. Only one player — Afghan war vet Alejandro Villanueva — refused to go along with this nauseating decision. He will wear the name of a fallen warrior, Alwyn Cashe, an African-American who was killed in Iraq.
Now, however, another player, star center Maurkice Pouncey, has balked at the Steelers’ decision. Pouncey, who has worked with the police in Pittsburgh and Florida, says he was given “limited information” about the circumstances concerning Rose. I “should have done more research to fully understand what occurred in its entirety,” he admitted.
The same is true of so many people who are castigating America’s police officers as a class and who have aligned themselves, in one way or another, with the radical BLM movement.
Pouncey, who reportedly supports President Trump, says that, “moving forward, I will make my own decision about what to wear on the back of my helmet.” We don’t know whom Pouncey will choose to honor, but presumably it won’t be a thug this time.
When Villanueva made his decision, he was criticized by Rose’s mother among others for not going along with the will of his teammates. Owners and coaches throughout the league have been preaching that, whatever players do or don’t do to protest alleged systemic racism, they should act collectively, as a team.
But now, some Pittsburgh players are pointing the finger at management for the embarrassing decision to honor a two-time (at least) drive-by shooting participant and probable shooter on at least one occasion. Minkah Fitzpatrick, a standout young safety, says:
It was mostly made from people upstairs and everything else like that. Don’t know exactly who. Don’t know exactly how. . . .
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 made by everyone upstairs.
If this is true, then Steelers’ management manipulated the players into honoring a drive-by shooter. Pouncey and other players may not have known the facts about Rose, but top management surely did.
The Steelers are controlled by the Rooney family. The Rooneys are active participants in Pittsburgh’s civic life. They are politically active, as well, on the Democratic side.
Pro football players come to Pittsburgh from all over the country, many are new to the roster, and many probably pay scant attention to the local news. The Rooneys are a Pittsburgh institution. If owner Art Rooney II and/or members of his inner circle made the decision to honor Rose, they cannot plausibly plead ignorance the way Pouncey and other players can.