Steelers’ Vince Williams Tired of Team’s Social Justice ‘Publicity Stunts’

Steelers
Getty Images/Sarah Stier

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Vince Williams has added his voice to those Steelers turning critical of the NFL’s ongoing social justice demonstrations.

During comments in an Instagram Live post, Williams spoke about Alejandro Villanueva’s decision to break from the “team decision” to wear the name of Pittsburgh teen Antwon Rose, Jr., who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2018, on the back of their helmets as a statement about police brutality. Williams has turned critical of the paean to Black Lives Matter even though he did join the team in wearing the teen’s name.

Williams said he had no problem with Villanueva’s decision.

“I don’t care what Al had on the back of his helmet,” Williams said. “He could’ve put that sh*t on the front of his helmet. I don’t really care at all. As long as he is lining up at left tackle and he’s blocking people and Big Ben’s upright and we don’t have to go through another Ben-less season. I don’t give a damn if he wore a baseball helmet. I could care less.”

“It’s none of my business. Just show up to play football and let’s kick ass and go about our day,” he added.

The 2012 ACC Champion who joined the Steelers in 2013 also insisted that all the virtue signaling isn’t his bag.

“Doing all the publicity stunts and stuff for the media, that’s cool. I guess you have to get attention for the voiceless, but these people really need help out here,” he said.

“Kids really need help. I feel like I’m going to do more in my community by giving away laptops and Chromebooks and making sure people got the equipment they need to go back to school than a t-shirt could ever do. What is a t-shirt going to do?” Williams added.

Williams puts his money where his mouth is, too.

He has already donated 500 laptops, 150 Chromebooks, and backpacks and PPE gear to kids in Pittsburgh.

Williams is not the first Steelers player to wonder if wearing Rose’s name on his helmet was not the best idea. On Thursday, lineman Maurkice Pouncey similarly said that, in retrospect, it may not have been such a good idea to wear the name of a kid who lost his life after being implicated in a drive-by shooting.

Also, Minkah Fitzpatrick recently dismissively noted the decision to put the Rose sticker on team helmets was made by executives “upstairs” and the players “barely” even discussed it.

After so many team members have spoken about their doubts over placing Rose’s name on their helmets, the team is now saying players can opt out without any issue.

After so many team members have spoken about their doubts over placing Rose’s name on their helmets, the team is now saying players can opt out without any issue.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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