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Only Steeler to Show Up for National Anthem Also Issued a Bold Message to Kaepernick and Protesters

While the entire team of Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in the locker room as the national anthem played before their NFL game, one man appeared in front of everyone with his hand over his heart in honor of the flag. But it was his past that has been turning heads.

Alejandro Villanueva is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. He abandoned his team as they hid in the locker room during the national anthem in protest.

Watch:

As you can tell, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ sideline is empty since they are all in the locker room:

But this isn’t the first time the veteran has spoken out against the protests. During last year’s season, Villanueva said in response to then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protests:

“I agree that America is not perfect, I agree there are lot of issues with minorities in this country, I agree we should do something about it.

But I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down when the national anthem of the country that is providing you freedom and providing you $60 million a year is the best way to do it when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting our freedom for less than $20,000 a year.

I just know I’m very thankful to be an American. I will stand very proudly and sing every single line of the national anthem every single time I hear it. I will stop whatever I’m doing because I recognize I have to be very thankful to be in this country.

I tell my teammates all the time, especially when they talk about contracts, I’m one of the cheapest left tackles in the NFL [but] just by being an American I’ve won three lotteries. And if you have a little money on top of me, that means I have 3½ lotteries.

I’ve been very fortunate to travel a lot and see what it’s like in different countries. I’ve experienced true racism that happens in Europe with a lot of minorities. It’s very difficult for me to be here in America, as grateful as I am, in the best country in the world, and have people not be pleased about it.

I think he’s obviously upset and I think we all agree, the majority of America would agree, there’s an issue with minorities in our country, the way some groups in our population are being treated.

I just think not standing up for America is a little bit unfair on his part because he’s not taking into consideration the minorities that are fighting for the flag, like myself, the thousands of people who lay their lives so he can express himself.”

In an interview with ESPN, he also said:

“Whenever you include an entire country in one of those protests, I think you might mislead some people who truly wake up every single morning trying to give everything, including their lives, to protect this country. It’s a little bit unfair to group everybody under that category.”

Villanueva made it very clear on Sunday that he didn’t care what his team was doing

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Fannie

    September 24, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Bravo – Bravo – Bravo to you Villanueva

  2. Lavona Areno

    September 24, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPECT, FOR STANDING FOR WHATS RIGHT, I THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE FOR THAT WHOLE (COWARDLY) TEAM. NO LONGER WILL WATCH THEM. SAD, SO SAD FOR THEM TO DISRESPECT US.

  3. Bill

    September 24, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    I am protesting professional athletes that receive substantial amounts of money for playing a game. I do not watch professional sports or knowingly support companies that support professional sports.
    I will not be discussing this issue any further on this site.
    The End.

  4. Sal belardo

    September 24, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Anyone who pays to go to a Steelers game are scum! Nothing more to say!

  5. Pingback: Only Steeler to Show Up for National Anthem Also Issued a Bold Message to Kaepernick and Protesters

  6. Harry Brown

    September 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    fuck the entire nfl but mostly the fucking steelers… im done with the nfl… gave the rest of my season tickets away and will not order again

  7. BUD RENNIE

    September 24, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND LOVE FOR SOMETHING THAT OTHERS FAUGHT AND DIED FOR. I HONOR YOU..

  8. Rogelio Escobedo

    September 24, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    IN MY OPINION: OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH SHOULD NOT BE COMPROMISED FOR ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY. -IT HAS NO MONEY VALUE WHEN IT COMES TO HOW MANY AMERICANS HAVE DIED PROTECTING OUR FREEDOMS. —I RESPECT THE PLAYERS FOR STANDING AGAINST TRUMP’S RACISM AND HIS DIVIDING AMERICA BY HIS IDIOTIC INCOMPETENT MACHIAVELLIAN POOR RACIST LEADERSHIP. —I THANK VILLANUEVA FOR HIS SERVICE TO THE COUNTRY-BUT HE SHOULD ABOVE ALL THE PLAYERS KNOW-AS HE PUT IT-THERE ARE BLACK AMERICAN SOLDIERS WHO ARE GETTING 20K/YR DYING IN THE FIELD OF BATTLE FOR AMERICA-AND TRUMP IS SIDING WITH THE WHITE SUPREMACIST AND KKK AT CHARLLETTESVILLE? —IN MY OPINION-VILLANUEVA DOES NOT FORESEE THE TYPE OF RACISM THAT IS ABOUT TO COME HIS WAY UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. —SEMPER FI!

    • paulette

      September 24, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      @ROGELIO,FOR ONE THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE WHERE TRUMP IS CONCERNED,THIS HAS TO DO WITH DISRESPECTING THIS COUNTRY AND OUR FLAG,NOT RACE ALSO THIS COUNTRY WAS ALREADY DIVIDED BY BOYFRIEND OBAMA,YOUR SO BRAINWASHED BY THE LEFT YOU CANT SEE THE TRUTH IN FRONT OF YOU,AND NO YOU DON’T APPRECIATE ANYONE SERVICE FOR THIS COUNTRY,YOUR A LIER,IF THEY WANT TO PROTEST THAT’S FINE DON’T DO IT AT A GAME THAT PEOPLE PAY GOOD MONEY FOR TO WATCH PEOPLE PLAY NOT DISRESPECT OUR COUNTRY,FLAG AND THOSE WHO DIED FOR IT,THOSE TEAMMATES ARE NOTHING BUT CRAP AS FAR AS IN CONCERNED WHERE THEY WOULDN’T EVEN STAND FOR THEY’RE TEAMMATE WHICH IS BLESSED TO ACTUALLY COME BACK ALIVE,PEOPLE LIKE YOU MAKE ME SICK AND SHOULD BE BANNED FROM THIS COUNTRY

      • peggy gleichman

        September 25, 2017 at 12:01 am

        Thank you Paulette for your reply to @Rogelio it was spot on.I am totally disgusted by these millionaire athletes who show such disrespect for our flag our national anthem and especially our veterans. It will be a cold day in hell before I watch any NFL team that displays such ignorance. I am sickened by the Pittsburgh Steelers and how they treated a teammate as well as someone who survived a tour of duty in a place that many has described as hell on earth. Thank you Lt.Villanueva for your service to our country and I am sorry you were shown such disrespect by your own teammates. Steelers SUCK. P.S. So do the Ravens.

    • Robert Drobel

      September 25, 2017 at 3:44 am

      For you comment on Trump’s Racism, you are just plain full of crap. You need to quit listening to globalist and pay attention. Quit listening to Hillary and Leftist bullshit, this man is a law and order American. What you really trying to sell everybody like La Raza and the rest….that he is a racist because he does not tolerate the law breaking illegals like the schmuck before him did…the dumbass communist that tried to destroy our country. People who say different are plain stupid, but go ahead, be a dumbass. Nothing the man does is racist. The man is not a liar either. Talk to the Hispanics and the Africans who work for him. they love the man. Suffice it to say Rogelio esta un mintiroso. Or Rogelio no sabe de lo que habla.

    • Lando

      September 25, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      One person doesn’t create the actions for this country…. our motto for the Declaration of a independence first starts with ” We the People ” Not I the President ” He is playing the parent to all the spoiled individuals feeding on Obama’s Teet. Those that get mad obviously we’re spoiled themselves. Our choices on how we react will determine how our future turns out….

  9. Joan

    September 24, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    GOD BLESS You Lt. Alejandro Villaneuva for your service, your patriotism and honor. You make me proud Sir. You are a true patriot and warrior.

  10. Phyllis White

    September 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Very well said!

  11. JR Whitmore

    September 24, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    I am a little surprised that the Steelers are composed of so many sheep. Obviously they can’t all be opposed to the Anthem. Yet only one soul with courage and interior belief came out onto the field. Shame on those following a fake cause.

  12. Angela Langdon

    September 24, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Bless you Alejandro Villaneuva!

    For those who Kneel:

    I will Boycott Any Team that Allows Kneeling.
    I will Boycott Any Sponsor that Condones Kneeling.
    These players are on OUR Time, Not theirs!

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
    Credit to Stanislaus Drew for what is written below:

    You want to take a knee?

    Take a little trip to Valley Forge in January. If you don't know where that is, just Google it from the sidelines. Hold a musket ball in your fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two. There won't be a doctor or trainer to assist you until after the battle, so just wait your turn.Take your cleats and socks off to get a real experience.
    Then take a knee.

    Then, take one at the beach in Normandy where man after American man stormed the beach, even as the one in front of him was shot to pieces…the very sea stained with American blood. The only blockers most had were the dead bodies in front of them, riddled with bullets from enemy fire

    Take a knee in the sweat soaked jungles of Vietnam. from Khe San to Saigon…Anywhere will do. Americans died in all those jungles.There was no playbook that told them what was next, but they knew what flag they represented. When they came home, they were protested as well..and spit on for reasons only cowards know.

    Take another knee in the blood drenched sands of Fallujah in 110 degree heat..Wear your Kevlar helmet and battle dress…Your number won't be printed on it unless your number is up! You'll need to stay hydrated but there won't be anyone to squirt Gatorade into your mouth. You're on your own.

    There's a lot of places to take a knee. Americans have given their lives all over the world. When you use the banner under which they fought as a source for your displeasure, you dishonor the memories of those who bled for the very freedoms you have. That's what the red stripes mean. It represents the blood of those who spilled a sea of it defending your liberty.

    While you're on your knee, pray for those that came before you, not on a manicured lawn striped and printed with numbers to announce every inch of ground taken…but on nameless hills and bloodied beaches and sweltering forests and bitter cold mountains…every inch marked by an American life lost serving that flag you protest

    No cheerleaders, no announcers, no coaches, no fans…just American men and women…delivering the real fight against those who chose to harm us…blazing a path so you would have the right to "take a knee."

    You haven't an inkling what it took to get you where you are…but your "protest" is duly noted. Not only is it disgraceful to a nation of real heroes, it serves the purpose of pointing to your ingratitude for those who chose to defend you under that banner that will still wave long after your jersey is retired..

    If you really feel the need to take a knee, come with me to church on Sunday and we'll both kneel before Almighty God. We'll thank him for preserving this country for as long as He has. We'll beg forgiveness for our ingratitude for all He has provided us. We'll appeal to Him for understanding and wisdom. We'll pray for liberty and justice for all…because He is the one who provides those things.

    But there will be no protest. There will only be gratitude for His provision and a plea for His continued grace and mercy on the land of the free and the home of the brave. It goes like this…

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!
    By Stanislaus Drew

    PLEASE SHARE

    • Becky

      September 24, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      Well said. I just wish more people would think a long these lines.

    • Gerry Potgieter

      September 25, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Amen.

    • Keely Owens

      September 26, 2017 at 11:11 pm

      Hell yeah!

  13. Danny Bowlin

    September 24, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you Alejandro from a Vietnam vet. So sorry the rest of the teem acted like fools. Do they not know if people stop watching the games or coming to the games, there will be no money to pay the players?

  14. Paula Schumacher

    September 25, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Bless you, Alejandro Villanueva, and thank you, Angela Langdon for sharing Stanislaus Drew’s message. Donald Trump is not in this picture. The flag, the hundreds of thousands of men and women who fought and died so NFL players can make their multi-millions of dollars–these are the people in the big picture. If you disrespect those who died — black and white and brown — you disrespect all of us.Perhaps those who kneel would like to live in Venezuela awhile.

  15. LKF

    September 25, 2017 at 12:54 am

    One man and ten pussies.

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