PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey wants to clarify what led up to displaying Antwon Rose Jr.'s name on the back of his helmet during Monday night’s game.
“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. I should have done more research to fully understand what occurred in its entirety,” Pouncey said Thursday in an Instagram post.
Rose was 17 years old when he was shot and killed in 2018 by an East Pittsburgh police officer while running from a traffic stop. He was in a car that was pulled over because it matched the description of a vehicle connected to a shooting that happened minutes earlier in North Braddock.
Former Officer Michael Rosfeld was found not guilty of criminal homicide in the shooting death of Rose.
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Pouncey said he works with police in Pittsburgh and back home in Florida and wants them to understand he “inadvertently” supported a cause he didn’t know the full background of.
“Moving forward, I will make my own decision about what to wear on the back of my helmet,” Pouncey said. “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. Systemic racism issues have occurred in our country for too long, and that needs to stop.”
Ahead of Monday’s game, the Steelers announced the team would remember Rose by wearing helmet decals. Most of the team did, but left tackle Alejandro Villanueva chose to honor late military veteran Alwyn Cashe instead.
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