Tags: Colin Kaepernick | Trump Administration | alejandro villanueva | pittsburgh steelers | national anthem | protest

Steelers' Villanueva Apologizes for Standing for National Anthem

Steelers' Villanueva Apologizes for Standing for National Anthem
U.S. Army Ranger veteran Alejandro Villanueva (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

By    |   Monday, 25 September 2017 07:30 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva said Monday he unintentionally threw his teammates under the bus by standing for the National Anthem on Sunday, USA Today reported.

"This National Anthem ordeal has sort of been out of control, and there's a lot of blame on myself," Villanueva, an Army Ranger veteran, said.

"I made coach [Mike] Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault."

The players during a pregame meeting decided to not appear on the field during the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner," and Tomlin told CBS, "whatever we do we're going to do 100 percent, we're going to do together."

But Villanueva, who served three tours in Afghanistan, came out on the field for the National Anthem and held his hand over his heart while he sang.

"Many of them felt like something needed to be done," Tomlin said of his players following President Donald Trump's comments last week that any NFL player who kneels during the anthem should be fired. "I asked those guys to discuss it and whatever they discussed that we have 100 percent participation or we do nothing."

Tomlin criticized Villanueva for breaking orders and some of the Steelers players said they were confused with his actions.

"I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team," Tomlin said when reporters asked about Villanueva after Pittsburgh's game against the Bears in Chicago, according to Fox News.

Villanueva said his presence on the field was a mistake, and only went out ahead of the National Anthem because he wanted to see the flag. When the anthem began, he did not want to move.

"Unfortunately, I threw [my teammates] under the bus, unintentionally," he said. "Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself, I feel embarrassed.

"We as a team tried to figure it out. Obviously we butchered it. . . . I'm not gonna pretend I have some kind of righteous voice."

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Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva said Monday he unintentionally threw his teammates under the bus by standing for the National Anthem on Sunday, USA Today reported.
alejandro villanueva, pittsburgh steelers, national anthem, protest
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2017-30-25
Monday, 25 September 2017 07:30 PM
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