The Pittsburgh Steelers announced last week their helmets would bear the name of a dead Pittsburgh teenager, Antwon Rose.
And now we have controversy.
As TribLive reports, one player changed the name on his helmet last weekend. Now another has hinted he might.
And that’s just the beginning.
(S)afety Minkah Fitzpatrick said the decision of using Rose’s name “came from upstairs” (the front office and/or coaching staff), indicating there was no player vote.
There’s a valuable lesson in communication here: Make clear why something is being done, and then make sure everyone is in agreement.
There’s no reason to question the players’ suggestions that they never voted on what name would appear on their helmets. (And, yes, if they’re being asked to make a “political” statement, they ought to be the ones deciding if they wish to make it.)
There’s every reason to commend the team’s coaches or front office (or both) for wanting to make an important statement. (The aforementioned news report provides sufficient background to understand what happened to Rose.)
But if a player wants to opt out (or choose to honor someone else), then he certainly has that right, especially if he wasn’t consulted on the decision.
Someone goofed in delivering the information to the players.