Initial reports were that the entire Pittsburgh Steelers football team would forego the pregame national anthem for their game in Chicago after comments from President Donald Trump set a firestorm across the NFL.
Well, that turned out to not be entirely true, as one member of the Steelers did come out of the locker room for the national anthem: left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. And his jersey sales are already soaring, via ESPN:
“A spokesman for Fanatics, which runs the NFL’s online store, confirmed to ESPN that, over the past 24 hours, more Villanueva gear, including jerseys and name and number T-shirts, has been ordered than that of any other NFL player.
Villanueva beat out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the top spot. Philadelphia Eaglesquarterback Carson Wentz, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers rounded out the top five over the past day.”
Villanueva is a former Army Ranger who had deployed to Afghanistan three different times during his military career. Villanueva reached the rank of Major before entering the NFL in 2014.
Other teams around the league also participated in a form of protest like the rest of the Steelers. Several New England Patriots took a knee for the anthem, while players for both the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons locked arms during the anthem for their game.
This comes after President Trump started some controversy on Friday evening, commenting on the anthem protests by saying that NFL owners should respond to the player protests with the phrase “get that son of a bitch off the field.”
Wouldn’t you love one of these NFL owners… when someone disrespects our flag say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field, right now, out, he’s fired.”Advertisement