Tomlin: Villanueva Spoke With Him About Covering Rose's Name On Helmet

The O-lineman had the name of a fallen hero on the back of his helmet, covering Antwon Rose Jr. name

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says that offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva spoke with him before Monday night's game about his decision to honor fallen Silver Star recipient Alwyn Cashe.

Tomlin says the move was in line with players participating in individual displays of social justice.

"As an organization and my self as a head coach of the organization, we're going to support our players in however the choose to participate and express themselves or to not participate and or not express themselves as long as they do so thoughtfully and with class," said Tomlin.

Tomlin said the matter needed no further explanation and that they support Villanueva or any other player that chooses to use their platform.

The team announced on Monday that each helmet would have the name of Antwon Rose Jr. on the back all season.

Rose was a 17-year-old Black teen fatally shot by an East Pittsburgh Police Officer in June, 2018 while fleeing the scene of an incident.

That officer, Michael Rosfeld, was acquitted of murder charges.

Cashe, a Black man and Sergeant first class in the U.S. Army, gave his life to rescue fellow soldiers after an improvised explosive device caused damage to the Bradley tank he was in while on a route clearance mission in Iraq in October 2005.

Cashe, covered in fuel, helped rescue six fellow soldiers, pulling them from the burning vehicle, all while his uniform continued to burn.

Cashe refused to be rescued by medical staff until this fellow soldiers were tended to.

With burns to over 70 percent of his body, Cashe died under a month after the incident.

Cashe posthumously was awarded the Silver Star for heroism and there are calls that he be awarded the Medal of Honor, a call that is backed by the Pentagon.

Villanueva served as an Army Ranger and received a Bronze Star for valor and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan.