Pittsburgh Steelers’ lineman Alejandro Villanueva wore the identify of a fallen Military hero on his helmet all the way through Monday evening’s sport in opposition to the New York Giants, breaking clear of the staff’s determination to put on Antwon Rose Jr.’s identify on their helmets for all the season.
Villanueva, a former captain within the U.S. Military who served 3 excursions in Afghanistan and turned into an Military Ranger earlier than becoming a member of the NFL in 2014, used to be noticed overlaying Rose’s identify with that of Alwyn Cashe.
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Military Sgt. 1st Magnificence Alwyn C. Cashe died in 2005 after making an attempt to rescue fellow squaddies from a burning car following a roadside bomb in Samarra, Iraq, on Oct. 17, in step with the Army Instances. He suffered second- and third-degree burns over 70 p.c of his frame, ultimately succumbing to these accidents on Nov. five.
He used to be posthumously awarded the Silver Superstar.
Villanueva used to be the only real member to deviate from the staff’s plan to put on the identify of Rose, a 17-year-old Black teenager who used to be shot and killed via a police officer in 2018.
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“This yr the NFL is permitting avid gamers to put on helmet decals to honor sufferers of systemic racism. Avid gamers may make a choice the identify of a person to put on on their helmet and the Steelers avid gamers and coaches united as one to put on a unmarried identify at the again in their helmets and hats for all the 2020 season – Antwon Rose Jr.,” the staff mentioned on its web page Monday.
Villanueva up to now made headlines in 2017 when he stood on my own out of doors the Steelers’ tunnel all the way through the nationwide anthem whilst his complete staff remained in the back of. In June, following renewed calls to kneel all the way through the nationwide anthem within the wake of George Floyd’s dying, Villanueva declined to talk about the problem.
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“It used to be taken out of context the final time I mentioned this factor. I can by no means talk on it once more,” he mentioned on the time.