NFL teams decided to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem as a sign of protest after President Donald Trump said sportsmen who ‘disrespect America’ should be fired. One team in particular- the Pittsburgh Steelers chose not to participate in the national anthem prior to Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, but one patriot left standing.
Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva stood outside the tunnel at Soldier Field with his hand over his heart during The Star-Spangled Banner while his teammates remained undercover inside the stadium.
Alejandro Villanueva was the only Steeler to come out for the National Anthem, standing in the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/L4EtxRQSvA
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 24, 2017
— Katica (@GOPPollAnalyst) September 24, 2017
Last year Villanueva criticised Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem.
Villanueva said: “I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that’s providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year … when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year. It’s his decision. Obviously, he has brought up the issue in a great way. But I think if he encourages other players or other people in the stands to sit down, it’s going to send the wrong message.
“He has to be a little more careful and look at the big picture of the things that he’s doing because as a service member, I have to understand it. But he’s an athlete, he’s got a huge platform, he has to see the impact he has on other people’s lives.”
Several Steelers coaches, including head coach Mike Tomlin, stood on the Pittsburgh sideline at attention during the anthem while the Bears stood arm in arm on their side of the field.
“We’re not going to play politics. We’re football players, we’re football coaches,” Tomlin said. “We’re not participating in the anthem today – not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from the circumstance.
“People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his teammate who chooses not to.”
Unfortunately, what we are watching right now is the death of professional sports in America.
Mr. Tomlin, by not “playing politics” you’re playing politics. Just admit it, quit lying to yourself and the American people. If for no one else, stand for Villanueva, a true American hero.
God Bless Alejandro Villanueva’s bravery, at least he’s a red, white and blue American. The rest, not so much!
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Natalie D. is an American conservative writer! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington.She is a “constitutional conservative”.