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After Coach’s Response, Look at What Steelers Player Who Stood Alone for Anthem Is Now Saying

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, became an overnight sensation after he stood alone outside the tunnel while his team remained inside during the national anthem.

After the game, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made it clear he wanted “100 percent participation” or nothing in how the team chose to handle the national anthem.

Now, Villanueva is expressing regret that he “unintentionally” threw his teammates “under the bus.”

“I made Coach Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault,” he said.

Villanueva said he feels “embarrassed” every time he sees “that picture of me standing by myself.”

However, he also explained why he felt compelled to show his support for the national anthem and the United States of America:

But America clearly doesn’t think Villanueva has anything to be ashamed about. His jersey quickly became a top-selling item on all platforms:

All in all, it didn’t seem like Villanueva thought the Steelers handled the situation well:

There’s always next Sunday.

Watch Villanueva’s comments below.

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  1. amelia

    September 26, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Please, why are you doing this now, just shut up!

  2. Pendit1

    September 26, 2017 at 1:40 am

    It’s a shame that Mr. Villanueva was intimidated enough to feel that he had something to apologize for. HE was a breath of fresh air a ‘Lone Ranger’ having served 3 tours in Afghanization as an Army Ranger standing up for the anthem, Flag and country, IMHO.

  3. Pamela F Elkas

    September 26, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Villanueva has nothing to be ashamed of. Coach has a lot to be ashamed of.

  4. Kim Sylvest

    September 26, 2017 at 1:42 am

    The Steelers who chose not to stand are the ones responsible for making themselves look bad not Villanueva!
    His willingness to accept responsibility reveals how his heart is different from the ones whose true desire is to offend others.

  5. Darla Allender

    September 26, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Alejandro knows what is right and his heart is leading him. His team that did not come out are the losers in all of this. He is to be commended for his bravery.

  6. Thomas Bristol

    September 26, 2017 at 1:43 am

    YDon’t be embarrassed, your teammates should be embarrassed. You are my hero!

  7. Fannie

    September 26, 2017 at 1:43 am

    I know it does not mean much to you – but – I am extremely proud of you. You did the right thing and those of us that love our Nation are proud of you. You did not throw the players under the bus – they did it themselves. that is the problem today – people have a problem taking any blame for themselves. These players need to stop placing blame and just accept the fact they did it to themselves. They have a right to their feeling but do it some place else. Politcs have no place at Sporting events. It is where people go to relax and forget about politics and forget what is being talked about on TV or the Radio.

    • Sandra Lee

      September 26, 2017 at 2:05 am

      You did nothing wrong You did what was right and you should have as well as the other team members.
      Fannie is right for what she said and so is Pendit1 They feel the way I do. I am also a Vet and would have done the same thing. But I can not play as you because I am a woman. But that does not stop me. You do not need to feel bad for what you did you did the right thing. I want to praise you for what you did. You are showing them that the right thing to do was to salute the flag and for our country you fought for our country many times over we appreciate you in so many ways that you fought for us. You should be hornered that we think of you this way. Do not that what your team mates did as right or that they were right They were not right in what they did but you were. So please do it again and do not back down for what you believe in. I hope that you will feel better for yourself and keep doing the good you are doing you are showing them.

  8. Kimberly Brokaw

    September 26, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Never mind kids – there are no heroes in the NFL

  9. Emmette Boone

    September 26, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Never apologize for doing the right thing … besides, doesn’t his contract require him to be present at pregame ceremonies and conduct himself respectfully? If so, is he the only one on the team not in breach of contract?

  10. Lucille morgan

    September 26, 2017 at 1:58 am

    I felt very honored to see Villanueva stand alone when all the other players were disrespecting our great American Flag. It couldn’t have been easy for him but he knew where his loyalty stood. He reminds me of Tabow when he knelt before the game. Proud of you man no need to apologize we all respect you.

  11. Jan

    September 26, 2017 at 2:07 am

    We are proud of you for going against the NFL grain. You did the right thing!

  12. Ltpar

    September 26, 2017 at 2:09 am

    Hang tough Alajandro, you did what is right and have nothing to apologize for. Putting your country before that bunch of cowards on the Steeler Team is the right thing to do. Please do not let them intimidate you and keep doing the right thing.

  13. peggy gleichman

    September 26, 2017 at 2:21 am

    I am very disappointed that Lt. Villanueva(retired) felt he needed to apologize for “throwing his teammates under the bus” he does not owe an apology to anyone except maybe the guys he fought alongside for not standing strong and sticking to his guns with his original statement. The only one that “thrown under the bus” was Lt. Villanueva(Retired) because obviously his teammates and coaches did not feel the need to stand beside him when he was STANDING for our flag and national anthem even though they all were aware that he fought in Iraq and Afghanistan(3 tours) for the freedoms we all continue to enjoy today. Under ISIS all of these football players would be out of a job because sports is something they do not allow. So y’all should really think about what you are really conveying to the American citizen when you refuse to honor both our flag and national anthem. Those men and women that put on a military uniform every day do it for the very reason you refuse to stand.They love their flag and their country.

    • paulette

      September 26, 2017 at 9:16 pm


  14. Penny Howe

    September 26, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Plz don’t apologize!!! I understand many team mates felt the same as you!! But you stood up!!!! You took a stand!!!! They didn’t for whatever reason that I don’t judge them for. But you did!!! Be not ashamed!! Be proud!!! And THANK YOU for standing up!!!!!!

  15. tiare

    September 26, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    what and who are you apologizing for? NEVER apologize for doing the “Right” thing. Who has intimidated you? There are a lot of people gonna BOYCOTT NFL. You were the only one I respected…now I don’t. Shame on you. YOUR TEAM made you look bad!! Not the other way around. Your team SUCKS! I would be embarrassed to be a member of YOUR TEAM. Your team is a bunch of cry baby losers and now you are too. Stupid stupid stupid. I don’t always agree with the idiots running our Country but A Football game is NOT the Place to make a Political statement!

  16. R Trask

    September 26, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    It is a shame that a Ranger was so intimidated by roughly 53 players, coaches and team, that he would retreat. Do what is right, then stand tall and keep the faith. So disappointed.

  17. Rita

    September 26, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    The only apology should have come from his disrespectful teammates and coach. What a bunch of Losers, the only one on that team with RESPECT was Alajandro Villanueva, the real hero.

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