alejandro villaneuva

NFL Player Covers the Name of Police Shooting Victim with Name of Army Vet

Not everyone in the NFL is on the same page when it comes to wokeness. Pittsburgh Steeler Alejandro Villanueva, who also happens to be an army vet, covered the name of a police shooting victim and instead chose to honor someone closer to his heart.

The Steeler offensive lineman is a former Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. Instead of honoring shooting victim Antwon Rose Jr., he honored Alwyn Cashe, an Army sergeant who died trying to rescue soldiers from a burning vehicle in Iraq in 2005.

More on the story from CBS Sports:

Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva chose to cover the name of police shooting victim Antwon Rose Jr. on the back of his helmet during Pittsburgh’s game against the New York Giants on “Monday Night Football.” Villanueva chose instead to write the name Alwyn Cashe, a veteran who died during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2005.

As the NFL has allowed players to wear helmet decals honoring the victims of systemic racism, the Steelers decided as a team to honor Rose — a Black teenager shot in the back by a white police officer in Pittsburgh in 2018 after he ran from a vehicle that was pulled over — for the entirety of the season. The now-former East Pittsburgh officer was charged with murder, but a jury found him not guilty in March 2019.

Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan, decided to break from the team and replace Rose’s name with Cashe’s, a Sgt. 1st Class who died after trying to rescue soldiers from a burning vehicle in Iraq. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he approved of his player’s decision.

This isn’t the first time Villanueva has taken a stand for America. While his entire team was in the locker room during the national anthem, Villanueva went to the tunnel and put his hand over his heart for the anthem.

The Steeler shows that there are still some professional athletes out there that can think for themselves.

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