In Steelers Alejandro Villanueva, the victim of a police bullet on the helmet is named after the military veteran


USATSI

Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva on Monday named Anton Rose Jr., the victim of a police bullet, behind his helmet during a Pittsburgh game against the Giants. Villanueva chose instead to write the name of Alvin Cache, an elder killed during the US invasion of Iraq in 2005.

As the NFL allowed players to wear helmets honoring victims of systemic racism, the Steelers decided as a team to honor Rose – a black teenager shot by a white police officer in Pittsburgh Shot in 2018 after running away from a vehicle. For the entirety of the season – it was pulled. Now a former Pittsburgh officer was charged with murder, but a jury found him not guilty in March 2019.

Former Army Ranger Villanaveva, who made three tours in Afghanistan, decided to take a break from the team and change Rose’s name to Cache, a Sergeant. 1 class who died after trying to rescue soldiers from a burning vehicle in Iraq. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he had approved his player’s decision.

“As an organization, and ourselves as the head coach of the organization, we are going to support our players, although they have chosen to participate and express themselves, or express or not participate To do, until they do it thoughtfully and together, class, ”Tomlin said Tuesday during a press conference. Tomlin said Villanueva’s choice did not provide an explanation.

This is not the first time the veteran lineman publicly stepped aside from the team’s allegedly unified decision for its own reasons. At the start of the 2017 season, he was the only Steelers player to leave the locker room and then stand for the national anthem Tomlin said The team will stay behind to avoid making a statement – “Whatever we do, we’re going to do 100 percent. We’re going to do it together.”

Villanueva apologized for his decision to stand alone, saying he felt “embarrassed” because it “made the organization look bad, my coaches look bad, and my partners look bad.”