Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated Sunday night that he did not want offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva to stand for the national anthem, instead of sitting it out with the rest of his teammates.
Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan, was the only Steelers player to stand for the anthem. While Villanueva stood in the tunnel, hand over his heart, the rest of the team remained in the locker room in protest of President Trump’s comments that players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired. (RELATED: Former Army Ranger Is Only Steelers Player To Stand For National Anthem [VIDEO])
Tomlin said in a post-game press conference that he was looking for “100 percent participation” in whatever course of action the team took during the national anthem.
When asked by a reporter about Villanueva coming out for the anthem, Tomlin said, “Like I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team.”
No Steelers were on the sideline during the anthem.
LT Alejandro Villanueva, a veteran who served in the Army, stood near the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/JOviLUAtiF
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 24, 2017
Villaneuva played in college at the United States Military Academy before going on to become an Army Ranger. He served three tours in Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, before later joining the Steelers.