Tags: alejandro villanueva | jersey | sales | soar | national anthem

Alejandro Villanueva: Jersey Sales Soar for Lone Steelers Anthem Stander

Image: Alejandro Villanueva: Jersey Sales Soar for Lone Steelers Anthem Stander

Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers stands by himself in the tunnel for the national anthem prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sept. 24, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 September 2017 05:28 AM

Alejandro Villanueva’s No. 78 Pittsburgh Steelers jersey sales have risen to the top in the last 24 hours since Villanueva became the only Steelers player to stand for the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

The Steelers made a team decision to remain in the locker room during the anthem, in part, coach Mike Tomlin said, to try not to “play politics” after President Donald Trump suggested players who don't stand for the anthem should be fired.

Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afganistan, went against the team decision and stood alone for the anthem just outside the tunnel.

As fans took to social media to burn Steelers gear and talk about boycotting the NFL altogether in displeasure over the more than 200 NFL players who protested during the anthem in various ways, another phenomenon occurred with Villanueva: His jerseys began selling like mad.

By Monday morning, ESPN reporter Darren Rovell tweeted the news:

Fanatics is the largest NFL clothing retailer and has several platforms, including the NFL’s official online shop.

Colin Kaepernick, who was the first to protest during the national anthem, is still in the top 40 in jersey sales despite not being on a team since March, showing the diversity of opinion about the protests.

Later Monday, Villanueva explained he had asked the team captains if he could stand with them during the anthem, CBS Pittsburgh reported. They agreed, but as he exited the tunnel first, he turned back to his teammates right as the anthem began.

“Unfortunately I threw my teammates under the bus, unintentionally,” Villanueva said, CBS Pittsburg reported. “Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself I feel embarrassed.”

Still, Twitter users showed their support for Villanueva online as well as with their dollars.

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Alejandro Villanueva's No. 78 Pittsburgh Steelers jersey sales have risen to the top in the last 24 hours since Villanueva became the only Steelers player to stand for the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears.
alejandro villanueva, jersey, sales, soar, national anthem
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2017-28-26
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 05:28 AM
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