The epithet National Felons League—a corruption of National Football League—is typically invoked in the wake of any news report dealing with felonious behavior exhibited by professional football players. It has taken on a new relevance now as an entire professional football team has decided to pay homage to a deceased young felon in the making. The team is the Pittsburgh Steelers; the deceased young felon in the making was one Antwon Rose, Jr., 17.
Here’s what went down with Antwon back on June 19, 2018: He was riding in the front passenger seat of a jitney, another passenger, Zaijuan Hester, also 17, seated directly behind him in the back seat. As they drew near a pedestrian, William Ross, Hester stuck a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol out of the open vehicle window, opening fire on Ross and wounding him. Another pedestrian who just happened to be there whipped out his own pistol and fired at the departing jitney, shattering its rear window.
A police bulletin went out, and East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld spotted a vehicle matching the description of the jitney and pulled it over. As Rosfeld was handcuffing the driver, Hester and Rose bolted and ran; Rosfeld fired three times, fatally striking Rose. The spin initially put on the incident was that Rose was an innocent who simply had the misfortune to board a jitney whose other passenger happened to be a drive-by shooter. Rosfeld ended up being charged with criminal homicide.
But it turned out that Rose was not the innocent he was made out to be. Two guns were found in the vehicle, Hester’s .40 caliber pistol and a stolen 9 millimeter pistol. The 9 millimeter had Rose’s DNA on it. Rose had an empty 9 millimeter magazine in his pocket that fit the recovered stolen gun, and gunpowder residue was found on his hands. Was the residue the result of his proximity to the gun fired by Hester, or was it the result of his firing the 9 millimeter at some point? A security video surfaced showing Rose, Hester, and the jitney driver clearing away the broken glass from the parked vehicle’s shattered rear windshield. Although security video showed Hester to be the shooter in the drive-by, the victim was convinced that it had to have been Rose who shot him because the two of them had a “beef” with one another. So Rose was riding around armed, he was riding with another armed passenger, and that other armed passenger shot a man with whom Rose had a beef. In the light of all this evidence brought to the fore, Officer Rosfeld was acquitted in his court trial.
In spite of the fact that Rose was a willing accomplice in a drive-by shooting—which justified the use of deadly force against him as he fled the traffic stop—he is nonetheless regarded as a victim of racial injustice and as a BLM martyr worthy of veneration. The method of veneration chosen by the Steelers’ decision makers was to have his name featured on players’ helmets that were to be worn throughout the season.
Fortunately, one player saw through the sham and refused to participate. Before his team’s opening game, tackle Alejandro Villanueva replaced Rose’s name with that of Alwyn Cashe, a black war hero who died of injuries sustained while rescuing fellow soldiers from a burning vehicle. As I was preparing the draft of this article, another dissenter’s name popped up in the news. Center Maurkice Pouncey announced that he would be removing Rose’s name from his helmet, explaining that he wasn’t fully aware of the whole story behind Antwon Rose, Jr.
Kudos to both Villanueva and Pouncey for standing up to woke nonsense.