The Pittsburgh Steelers caused a huge stir this past weekend when most of the team — sans offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva — decided to protest President Donald Trump and bring more visibility to Colin Kaepernick’s original cause by remaining in the locker room during the national anthem.
Villanueva stood at the edge of the tunnel with his hand over his heart, though in an interview after the game, he did admit to being embarrassed for what he felt was ultimately throwing his teammates under the bus.
Here’s what he said, via CBS News:
“Unfortunately I threw my teammates under the bus, unintentionally,” Villanueva said at a press conference Monday. “Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself I feel embarrassed.
“I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault, and my fault only,” Villanueva said. “We as a team tried to figure it out, but obviously butchered it.”
Heading into Week 4’s contest against the Baltimore Ravens, Villanueva won’t have to worry about standing apart from his teammates who choose to protest the National Anthem once again.
He won’t have to worry about that because according to his fellow offensive lineman, Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers will stand as a team for the National Anthem. This was passed on by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:
“Maurkice Pouncey said entire Steelers team plans to stand for the anthem Sunday in Baltimore.
“Pittsburgh Steelers will go out there and do the right thing,” he said.”
Whether or not standing, kneeling, protesting or respecting the National Anthem is the right thing or not has been a topic of widespread national debate, but no matter how you feel about it — it’s good seeing a team coming together and deciding to do something as a team.
Much like the Cowboys’ show of protest before the game, there’s something to be said for unity and brotherhood in a diverse atmosphere. The NFL likely won’t soon forget about Donald Trump and his comments against players protesting, but it does look like one team is ready to move on and get back to strictly football — for better or worse.