Steelers’ President Art Rooney II issues statement surrounding Villanueva helmet controversy

PITTSBURGH — In the days following the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 1 victory against the New York Giants, the names displayed on the back of players' helmets -- rather than their jerseys -- have dominated social circles.

Most Pittsburgh players donned the name Antwon Rose Jr., a Pittsburgh teen who was shot and killed by police in 2018, on their helmets during the game.

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But offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, who served in the U.S. Army, broke away from his teammates and covered up Rose’s name with a Black war hero -- Alwyn Cashe -- instead.

Several of Villanueva’s teammates have since spoken out about what happened, including Maurkice Pouncey and Cam Heyward.

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

On Thursday, Steelers' President Art Rooney II issued a statement about the controversy: