Patriotic

Steelers Head Coach Mad Team Member And Veteran Stood For National Anthem

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Sunday night, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says he did not want offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva to stand for the national anthem, instead of sitting it out with the rest of his teammates.

Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, served three tours in Afghanistan. He was the only Steelers player to stand for the anthem, and stood in the tunnel, hand over his heart, the rest of the team remained in the locker room in protest of President Trump’s comments that players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired. 

Tomlin said in a post-game press conference that he wanted “100 percent participation” in whatever course of action the team took during the national anthem. When asked about Villanueva coming out for the anthem, Tomlin said:

“Like I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team.”

Villanueva played in college at the United States Military Academy, then went on to become an Army Ranger, where he then served three tours in Afghanistan. Villanueva was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor. In 2014, Villanueva signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, then later joined the Steelers.

 

The move for the Steelers to stay in the locker room was decided as an apparent response to President Trump’s comments Friday, where he called on NFL owners to fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem, even calling for NFL fans to boycott the league.

Trump recently rescinded an invitation to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House, after the team’s star player Stephen Curry said prior to Trump’s statement he would not visit the White House because of Trump.

The Steelers’ decision is the strongest response so far to Trump’s comments. Numerous players for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens kneeled during the anthem, linking arms.

Meet Villanueva when he was first drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles:

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