This morning Cam Heyward said he was not aware of Villanueva changing his helmet that honored Antwon Rose Jr, but instead replaced it in honor of a Black Soldier Alwyn Cashe that was killed in action during the Iraq War. Alwyn Cashe, who served in the Army and received a Silver Star posthumously. The Steelers took a vote as a team and decided they were going to write Antwon Rose Jr's name on the back of their helmets. Cam said it caught him by surprise by what Al did.
"I was surprised by what Al did," Heyward said. "You'll have to talk to him in the future, but in this country, we're given the freedom to do and support those that mean a lot to us."
"Honestly I was unaware of it," Heyward said Wednesday morning. "We had discussed it before and it was brought up to us. That is for him to comment on in the future. I'm not going to sit up here and speak for him. He's his own man and we'll move forward.
Mike Tomlin said during his weekly interview that Villanueva and Tomlin discussed the change, but most of his teammates were unaware of the change to his helmet.
"He did discuss that with me. And this is in line with everything we said about participating in elements of social justice this offseason. As an organization and myself as a head coach of an organization, we are going to support our players in however they choose to participate and express themselves or to not participate or not express themselves, as long as they do so thoughtfully and with class."
Antwon Rose Jr's Mother took to Facebook today to send a message to Villanueva.
"Let me very very very clear. 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. In my opinion; that's for his coach, team and organization to address NOT ME! While he was so busy being negative what it actually did now forced more people to engage in this conversation. I'm going to use this negative press and negativity to motivate me to hold the Pittsburgh Steelers even more accountable!!! Yes I believe in second chances but as we all know I believe in putting in the work and that’s how I base my collaborations. 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!!!"