Nam Y. Huh / AP
Main as much as the sport, coach Mike Tomlin stated that the Steelers wouldn’t be on the sphere for the anthem after President Trump criticized NFL gamers who’ve kneeled throughout the pre-game ceremony.
The protests started in 2016 with Colin Kaepernick, then of the San Francisco 49ers, and unfold to dozens of different gamers on completely different groups.
In response to Trump's feedback, quite a few players kneeled, locked arms, or remained seated throughout the nationwide anthem at video games over the weekend.
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Throughout a news conference Monday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stated that at a gathering the night time earlier than the sport towards the Chicago Bears some gamers steered the staff ought to kneel or sit throughout the anthem, whereas others wished to face.
In an effort to stay unified, the gamers determined they might all stay within the tunnel resulting in the sphere, Roethlisberger stated.
Nam Y. Huh / AP
When Villanueva realized he was alone, he thought-about strolling again to his teammates however determined “that may look extraordinarily unhealthy” as a result of the anthem was already taking part in.
“We butchered our plan to type of have a response for the nationwide anthem and respect everybody’s opinion,” he added.
Roethlisberger additionally expressed remorse Monday, saying he wished “we’d have continued down” to Villanueva.
Pittsburgh Steelers / By way of steelers.com
Villanueva stated that each his staff and different gamers within the NFL are “extraordinarily patriotic” and that the staff wasn't making an attempt to make a political assertion.
“I've made coach [Mike] Tomlin look unhealthy, and that’s my fault and that’s my fault solely, I've made my teammates look unhealthy and that’s my fault and my fault solely, and I made the Steelers look unhealthy and that’s my fault and my fault solely,” he stated.
“So unwilling I've made a mistake,” the participant continued. “Sadly, I threw them underneath the bus, unintentionally.”
When requested about Trump's feedback, Villanueva responded that “I'll keep on with soccer” and stated he had no remark. He additionally stated that he wasn't going to inform anybody how they need to reply to the nationwide anthem.
“People who find themselves taking a knee should not saying something unfavourable concerning the navy, they’re not saying something unfavourable concerning the flag,” he stated. “They’re simply making an attempt to protest the truth that there’s some injustices in America. And for individuals to face up for the nationwide anthem it doesn’t imply that they don’t imagine in these racial injustices, they’re simply making an attempt to do the correct factor.”