Pittsburgh Steelers

Antwon Rose’s mother reacts to Villanueva’s decision to change name on Steelers helmet

PITTSBURGH — Antwon Rose Jr.'s mother addressed Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva’s decision to honor a military veteran on his helmet, instead of her son like his teammates did.

>>STORY: Despite the team standing united, Steelers' Villanueva honored a war veteran, not Antwon Rose

In a Tuesday night Facebook post, Michelle Kenney wrote, in part:

“The Pittsburgh Steelers took a team vote. Obviously one person didn’t like the results so they chose to do something different. I have nothing against vets and absolutely appreciate everything that they have done and continue to do for us. But this one person showed us exactly who he is and obviously he didn’t approve of how the vote turned out.”

Let me very very very clear. The Pittsburgh Steelers took a team vote. Obviously one person didn’t like the results so...

Posted by Michelle Kenney on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Kenney’s post went on to say Villanueva’s decision is one for Coach Mike Tomlin, the team and the organization to address.

During his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon, Tomlin said, “We’re going to support our players however they chose to participate and express themselves.”

Villanueva’s helmet had the name Alwyn Cashe written on it during Monday night’s game against the New York Giants. His teammates' helmets honored Rose, who was 17 years old when he was shot and killed in 2018 by an East Pittsburgh police officer while running from a traffic stop.

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“They came to me as a team/organization and I don’t care how good of an individual you are; if you are not a TEAM player then maybe you are playing for the wrong team,” Kenney added in her Facebook post.

According to the Military Times, Cashe, who is Black, died at the age of 35 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Samarra, Iraq. He suffered second- and third-degree burns over 70% of his body when he ran back into the vehicle in an attempt to rescue other soldiers who were trapped inside. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

Villanueva is a former Army Ranger who was awarded a Bronze Star.