Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Maurkice Pouncey now says that he regrets joining with his teammates team in putting Antwon Rose, Jr.’s name on his helmet on Monday, saying he didn’t know all the facts in the case beforehand.
Pouncey says he was given only “limited facts” about the police-involved death of the Pittsburgh teenager and noted that he would “make my own decision” about who to honor on his helmet in the future instead of merely following the team’s recommendations, TMZ reported.
“I want to personally clarify what transpired this past Monday night in regard to having Antwon Rose’s name on the back of my helmet,” Pouncey said on Thursday after learning more of the facts surrounding the young man’s death.
“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,” Pouncey added.
The lineman vowed that “I will make my own decision” about what to wear on the back of his helmet from now on.
“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,” Pouncey concluded. “System racism issues have occurred in our country for too long, and that needs to stop.”
Last week, the Steelers reportedly decided as a team to honor Antwon Rose on the backs of their helmets as their social justice message to kick off the 2020 NFL season. Every member of the team except Alejandro Villanueva joined the team effort.
But Pouncey is clearly unhappy that he didn’t take more time to review Rose’s case before agreeing to join the team’s social justice effort.
Antwon Rose, Jr., was shot by a police officer on June 19 of 2018, after a car he was in was pulled over.
In a statement, the Steelers explained: “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.”
However, what that statement does not mention is that Rose was identified as being involved in a drive-by shooting that had occurred not long before being pulled over. The victim in the shooting told police that Rose was the shooter. Police had every reason to assume that Rose was armed and dangerous.
In addition, the officer who shot and killed Rose was found not guilty of improperly killing the teen. The shooting was deemed justified according to the investigation.
The only other Steeler to oppose the team’s decision to honor Rose was Alejandro Villanueva. Instead of wearing Rose’s name on his helmet, Villanueva wore the name of Iraq war hero and Silver Star winner Alwyn Cashe.
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