Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Maurkice Pouncey chose to wear the name of fallen Pittsburgh police officer Eric Kelly on the back of his helmet during Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.
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Officer Kelly was killed in the line of duty after responding to the scene of a domestic disturbance in April of 2009. Kelly was struck by rifle fire when officers knocked on a suspect’s door, and he opened fire without warning, ambushing the officers.
Sunday’s game marks the second member of the Steelers to move away from the “team decision” to place the name of Pittsburgh teenager, Antwon Rose, Jr., on their helmets.
Last week, Pouncey announced that he regretted putting Rose’s name on his helmet during the September 14 game against the New York Giants. A Pittsburgh police officer killed Rose in June of 2018 after officers pulled over a car in which the teen was riding.
The Steelers had supposedly met as a team and chose to honor Rose with an untied effort by placing the teen’s name on the back of their helmets. But days later, Pouncey said that he was never given the full story of Rose’s death and later found out that a shooting victim had identified the teen as having been the triggerman in a drive-by shooting.
This week, Pouncey was true to his word with his decision to break from his team by shedding Rose’s name and, instead, adding officer Kelly’s.
Pouncey is not the first member of the Steelers to refuse to join the team in honoring Rose. For that first game, lineman Alejandro Villanueva also refused to wear the sticker. He chose to honor Silver Star winner and KIA Alwyn Cashe on his helmet, instead.
Finally, linebacker Vince Williams also spoke out against the decision to sport Rose’s name on his helmet. In an Instagram post last Wednesday, Williams blasted the empty “publicity stunts” of social justice virtue signaling in which the NFL has engaged.
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