Art Rooney II released a statement today saying that the organization respects the decisions of each player, coach and staff member relating to how to express themselves on social justice topics. This comes after Alejandro Villanueva decided to honor fallen Black war hero Army sergeant Alwyn Cashe instead of Antwon Rose Jr. on Monday night like the rest of the team, and Maurkice Pouncey's Instagram post this morning saying that he will choose what to put on his helmet for now on; stating that he didn't know the full details surrounding Rose's death and what transpired during the trial following the tragedy.
Here's the full statement from Rooney:
As an organization, we respect the decisions of each player, coach and staff member relating to how to express themselves on social justice topics. We will continue to support our social initiatives to fight against social injustice and systemic racism not only in our area, but around the country.
Along the way, we understand that individually we may say or do things that are not universally accepted. There will be uncomfortable conversations. But we will strive to be a force for unity in our efforts to support a more just society.
With our support, our players have and will support our communities to address these issues with tangible actions. Our players have done an amazing job in helping create social justice platforms that we have already begun participating in this year. But we know there is still work to be done. This season our primary focuses in terms of social justice funds and activities will be voter registration and awareness, community and police forums, and education and community investment.
I am proud of the way our players have responded to the need for greater efforts to bring awareness and changes to combat racism and social injustice. I know they will continue to be leaders in our communities and their hometowns.