Steelers’ Art Rooney II: ‘Proud to Hear the Voices of Our Players’

Art Rooney II

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II before a game last season.

This morning Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II issued a statement on behalf of the organization addressing the anger and frustration seen around the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

The statement read, in part: “I am proud to hear the voices of many of our players who have spoken out against racism and injustice and called for unity. As an organization, we will continue to listen to our players, coaches, alumni and leaders in our community and work together to bring awareness and change in the effort to create a more fair and equal community.”

Rooney’s statement went on to highlight a sampling of the statements and comments already issued by Steelers’ players, including defensive end Cameron Heyward, who appeared on WDVE-FM yesterday morning and lamented the fact that three of the four officers involved in Floyd’s death have not been arrested.

Cam Heyward: ‘Change must happen’

It’s also clear from Heyward’s radio appearance that he remains concerned for his own safety, as well as the safety of his brother (who is a police officer), not to mention the rest of the community. At the same time, he applauded those members of law enforcement who do their jobs “the right way.”

“To know a brother, a friend or someone I care about could be gone due to this just hurts. It’s not acceptable,” said Heyward. “Thank you for the people who do serve the right way and continue to protect our freedoms. I wish all held up [their] end and cared for all.

“We all have people we care about and the fact that we can’t believe in everyone who is in [a] position of power to keep all safe angers me and tears me up,” he continued. “Change must happen. Our children are inheriting a world that is not improving.”

James Conner: ‘We definitely talked about it’

For his part, Steelers’ running back James Conner has acknowledged that the death of George Floyd is a subject that has been discussed in the midst of virtual team meetings.

“We definitely talked about it,” Conner said, during a recent video conference call with media.

“I don’t feel as if it’s my place to talk for the whole organization, but we definitely know and feel what’s going on,” he added. “We’re impacted by it. I can just speak for myself but I know a lot of the guys feel the same way, that change needs to be done and it needs to be done quick. But we definitely talked about things. We’re hopeful that things will get better as well.”

With that in mind, Conner has been active on Twitter in recent days. “I have been trying to use my platform … to promote togetherness and unity,” Conner said. Specifically, he has been encouraging others to “Make the twitter timeline full of positivity!”

“… Only love from here on out,” he said. “We know what’s been done and know it’s wrong.”

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