Sadly enough, this is what the NFL has come to, folks. Following President Trump’s statement that players who kneel in protest of the national anthem should be fired, the Pittsburgh Steelers chose to remain in the locker room.
Well…all of them except one player.
Yes, while the rest of his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates chose to remain in the locker room, Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva chose to stand in the tunnel holding his helmet in his left hand with his right hand over his heart as the national anthem was being played.
The entire Pittsburgh Steelers team stayed in the locker room for national anthem except for Villanueva who served 3 tours in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/6kvGDls8wQ
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) September 24, 2017
Villanueva played his college ball at West Point Military Academy. From there, he went on to become an Army Ranger. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor for his three tours served in Afghanistan.
He was initially signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, but eventually joined the Steelers.
Interestingly enough, according to an NFL.com article from earlier this year, Villanueva first caught Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s eye “because of the way he stood during the national anthem.”
And that’s exactly why he’s catching everyone else’s eyes now. Because, while everyone else is kneeling in protest, he’s the lone player on an NFL roster with enough decency to actually show some respect and stand our national anthem.