In the wake of teammate Mike Adams being stabbed by attempted carjackers, some Steelers players are wondering if they’re safe in the area around the team’s facility.
The Steelers moved to their facility on Pittsburgh’s South Side in 2000, and since then, a number of incidents have made them wary of the neighborhood.
Via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the area was “a dangerous place,” and others are agreeing with him.
Adams was stabbed in the stomach and arm about 15 blocks from the team facility, outside a restaurant. Defensive lineman Alameda Ta’amu’s drunken fleeing from police that ended when he crashed into parked cars (he pleaded guilty in April) happened a short distance away.
That has some players agreeing with Tomlin about the security of the area.
“It’s proven that it’s not [safe],” running back Isaac Redman said. “If you do choose to go out, you might need to seek security or make sure you’re not by yourself. But we definitely have to learn from what happened. . . .
“When you’re going out and having a good time with your friends, you have to also think that we could be targets. You have to take what happened to him and learn from it. Things like this have happened in the past. It’s happened to him now. If we don’t learn from it, go out and make the same mistakes, that would be foolish on our part.”
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley has partnered with an area group called Prevent Another Crime Today to try to reduce crime in the city, and said it could have happened anywhere.
“Nah, it’s not just the South Side, that’s the thing,” Woodley said. “We look at it because it happened on the South Side, but there’s stuff that happens everywhere, it just doesn’t get reported. Being that it was a Pittsburgh Steeler, now the light shines on it. But stuff like that happens every day.”
Of course, any concentration of bars and restaurants and clubs will generally be popular with young people with disposable income, whether they play football or not. And those that prey on others will always find those areas.
That means the Steelers have to be more careful when they’re close to home.