Politics

JUST IN: Steeler Who Confronted Coach And Stood For National Anthem Identified

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained on Sunday morning why his team would remain in the locker room during the national anthem in Chicago. He didn’t want his team to be part of a political discussion, or there to be division in the locker room as a result of players protesting or not protesting. But in the end there was one player who took the field, offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

Villanueva’s career in the NFL didn’t begin until 2014. Prior to that, he served three tours of duty in Afghanistan, where he served as a Captain in the army, as well as being an army ranger.

Villanueva was critical of Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protest in August of 2016, when he said:

“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.”

However, he was also quick to acknowledge the problems in this country.

“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.”

The Steelers organization has not released a statement following Donald Trump’s statements on boycotting the NFL due to protests during the anthem.

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