Editor’s Note: Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva (78) stands outside the tunnel alone during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears. His team hid in the locker room. SHOW HIM SOME LOVE! (AP images)
On the surface, the planned action by the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers may upset a lot of fans, but upon closer inspection, the team may have found the perfect way to respond to the controversy over players kneeling for the national anthem.
A controversy pushed into the stratosphere Saturday when President Donald Trump used the phrase “son of a bitch” to describe players that kneel.
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said his team will not be used as a political tool, announcing that the ENTIRE team will remain in the locker room during the national anthem Sunday.
Mike Tomlin said the Steelers will not participate during the national anthem. pic.twitter.com/O9tWl4KBFV
— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 24, 2017
“These are very divisive times for our country,” he said. “For us, as a football team, it’s about us remaining solid. We are not gonna be divided by anything said by anyone.”
Tomlin said he was supportive of what the players wanted to do, but the coach told his players “whatever we do, we’re gonna do 100 percent, we’re gonna do together.”
“We’re not gonna play politics with football players, with football coaches,” he said. “We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from the circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose.”
Tomlin then did the one thing NFL fans what to see, he stayed focused on football!
“We came here to play a football game,” he insisted. “That’s our intentions, and we’re gonna play and play to win.”
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) September 24, 2017
As promised, the Steelers remained in the locker room during Sunday’s pre-game ceremony.
But despite Tomlin saying they’d do it 100 percent together, one player was standing on the field with his hand over his heart SINGING the “Star Spangled Banner.”
That player was offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, who was born on Naval Air Station Meridian in Mississippi to Spanish parents — his father worked for NATO.
What was the reason Villanueva stayed on the field without his team making an effort to stop him?
Having served 3 tours in Afghanistan, the former Army Ranger EARNED that right.
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