Steelers Player And Army Veteran Alejandro Villanueva Stands Alone For The National Anthem [VIDEO]

by Deanna Fisher on September 24, 2017

Amidst all of the #TakeAKnee chaos and PR nightmare that the NFL has gotten itself into, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they were just going to stay in the locker room until the National Anthem was over.

(Coach Mike) Tomlin had said before the game that Pittsburgh’s players would remain in the locker room and that “we’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.” Tomlin added that the Steelers made this choice “not to be disrespectful to the anthem but to remove ourselves from this circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose.”

Notably, the coach was on the sidelines during the anthem, according to the AP.

However, one Steeler came out of the tunnel and stood alone, hand over his heart, for the National Anthem. And that player was West Point graduate, Army Ranger, and Bronze Star recipient Alejandro Villanueva.

Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, Army veteran, stands for the National Anthem (picture via screencap)


And you don’t think the fans noticed? The fans noticed.

Like Connor Brewer last season, Alejandro Villanueva just made a tremendously powerful statement without saying a word.

The NFL has dug themselves into a hole. I have no idea if they can find a way out. I’m also not sure that I particularly care if they do. But I do predict that Villanueva’s jersey will become a top seller. Rangers lead the way!

UPDATE 2:45 PM EDT:
Villanueva’s actions really should come as no shock to anyone, given his past statement on the protests touched off by Colin Kaepernick.

“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,” Villanueva said. “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.”

“I will be the first one to hold hands with Colin Kaepernick and do something about the way minorities are being treated in the United States, the injustice that is happening with police brutality, the justice system, inequalities in pay,” Villanueva said. “You can’t do it by looking away from the people that are trying to protect our freedom and our country.”

If a Steelers teammate decided to join Kaepernick in sitting, Villanueva said he’s not sure how he’d react, but will “stand very proudly” every time the national anthem is played, singing every word of the song because of what those words mean to him.

Villanueva said he often tells teammates that though he’s one of the cheapest left tackles in the league ($525,000), living in the U.S. is like “winning three lotteries.”

And today, Villanueva proved that he meant every word that he said.

Steelers president Art Rooney II, on the other hand, offered up this weak-kneed milquetoast statement, probably crafted by the team’s legal division.


Seems as if only one person in the Steelers organization has a spine, and that man was standing for the National Anthem today.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate September 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

True courage.
Not really much of a Steelers fan, but I am now HIS fan. I want his jersey!

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Kate September 24, 2017 at 11:41 am

PS that video!!!

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parker September 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm

One real man standing tall. Bravo!

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Recovering Lutheran September 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Tomlin had said before the game that Pittsburgh’s players would remain in the locker room and that “we’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.” Tomlin added that the Steelers made this choice “not to be disrespectful to the anthem but to remove ourselves from this circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose.

So the organization made the choice for them – and the choice was the same as taking a knee.

It’s not the lying by Tomlin that bothers me half as much as the fact that the lies are clumsy, stupid and easy to disprove.

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Son of Rusty Shackleford September 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Today they changed their name to the Pittsbugh Kneelers. Very sad. And on Fox NFL Sunday, The Blond Taliban Bomber proved Hollywood Henderson was right, after all. He really can’t spell cat even if you spotted him the C and the T. Sad all around.

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Mickey September 25, 2017 at 5:05 am

Now that there was

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Mickey September 25, 2017 at 5:06 am

Funny

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Stacy0311 September 24, 2017 at 10:03 pm

As a life long Steelers fan (tough growing up in Texas…..) I am glad that they lost to the Chicago Bears (!!!).

Maybe now they’ll focus on their job (playing football) and stop “making statements”

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Matt N Rittenhouse September 25, 2017 at 1:39 am

As a life long Browns fan I have a burning hatred for anything Steeler. Until today

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Zman September 25, 2017 at 2:47 am

So by staying in the locker room, the Steelers have become the unwitting face of the Pantywaist Protesters.

I can’t wait until one of the 16-million dollar snowflakes makes the mistake of shoving the 500k Villanueva in the locker room over his ‘disrespect’ for their protests. The outcome for them will be….unanticipated.

This is what happens when a Real Man, a Real Warrior, is forced to school a league of coddled pretend-warriors, playing a children’s game, in a fantasy arena.

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Christopher McNeil September 25, 2017 at 4:29 am

Just as in the election of 2016 the media and leftest Talking Heads grossly underestimate the sentiments of the average American.
There has always been an undercurrent of contempt for athletes being paid such extravagance salaries for what they actually contribute to society. When you couple that with behaviors that are considered ungrateful and disrespectful to the nation the fans will find another avenue for entertainment.

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Bandit September 25, 2017 at 4:34 am

Always amuses me how the proggies always end up on the hating America side

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MsJake September 25, 2017 at 7:08 am

The rest of the team was in the tunnel, standing, right behind him. You can find the picture if you look for it.

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GWB September 25, 2017 at 7:18 am

The fans noticed.

It’s really weird to watch this stuff going on. Because it sure seems like the NFL (and other sports folks, like ESPN) has decided that all the people who watch their entertainment really need to be coerced into believing the prog baloney. So they’re willing to cater to the progs (who don’t watch) by slapping around the non-progs (who DO watch), thereby getting NO ONE to watch.

I hope that eventually we will come together as a nation to respect the diverse opinions that exist

Oh please. You don’t believe in diverse opinions at all.
Of course, the real problem is that the only diversity of opinion you should care about at all is whether the pass prevent was a good call in Sunday’s game. (Or, whether the DH is a good idea, for example.) Whether folks should stand and show respect for our nation during the national anthem should be a given.

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grnberet September 25, 2017 at 8:49 am

WAS a Steelers fan since 72 but no more. Tomlin chose race over country. ART Rooney, bless him, would never have done what his (DNA test anyone) son has done. F the nfl.

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curmudgeoninchief September 25, 2017 at 8:54 am

Mr. Villanueva revealed the rest of the Steelers and team management to be either complicit or a bunch of weasels. Take your pick.

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GWB September 25, 2017 at 11:50 am

Embrace the power of “and”, Curmudgeon.

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Ed Roberto September 25, 2017 at 9:44 am

When you have a moral conviction, have experienced the real world, and realize how lucky we are to be US citizens, doing the right thing is crystal clear.

Hooah Capt. Villanueva

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