Tags: Colin Kaepernick | steelers | Alejandro Villanueva | Army Ranger | rejects | unification | meeting

Steelers' US Army Vet Eschews Team's 'Unification Meeting' Protest

(ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown")

By    |   Sunday, 24 September 2017 02:10 PM

While the Pittsburgh Steelers players staged a unique "unification meeting" in the team locker room during Sunday's National Anthem at Chicago's Soldier Field, putting the team at risk of a potential fine by NFL rule, one brave U.S. veteran on the team stood in an apparent protest of the sit-in.

Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, an Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, was seen just outside Soldier Field's tunnel during the playing of the U.S. National Anthem with his right hand over his heart. Only Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were on the field during the National Anthem, NFL.com reported.

The practice of players remaining in the locker room during the National Anthem used to be the norm, but the Steelers' move Sunday before the game against the Chicago Bears was the most unique protest of the American flag and National Anthem during a weekend of debate and rancor against the U.S. president.

Earlier Sunday, NFL Network's Stacey Dales had reported Tomlin met with players Saturday and a players-only meeting hatched the plan to hold a "unification meeting in the locker room before the game."

Added in Dales report was that the NFL's rulebook states a team may be fined if it was not on the field for the National Anthem, although that fine was at the discretion of the NFL.

Various other players, owners and teams have come to speak out against President Donald Trump's rally statements Friday and weekend tweets denouncing protestors of the U.S. flag and National Anthem.

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While the Pittsburgh Steelers players staged a unique "unification meeting" in the team locker room during Sunday's National Anthem at Chicago's Soldier Field, putting the team at risk of a potential fine by NFL rule, one brave U.S. veteran on the team stood in an apparent...
steelers, Alejandro Villanueva, Army Ranger, rejects, unification, meeting
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2017-10-24
Sunday, 24 September 2017 02:10 PM
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