Alejandro Villanueva, former Army ranger, is lone Steeler standing for anthem

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 20: Alejandro Villanueva
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 20: Alejandro Villanueva /

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t come out for the national anthem, deciding as a team to stay in the locker room. However, left tackle and former Army Ranger Alejando Villanueva stood in the tunnel during the song.

Pittsburgh made a loud statement on Sunday afternoon in its game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Instead of coming out and standing, kneeling or locking arms during the national anthem, the team chose to stay inside. The Steelers were the only team to do so on the afternoon.

However, one man decided to come out and pay his respects. Left tackle and former Army Ranger, Alejandro Villanueva, stood in the tunnel with hand over heart and listened to the anthem before being joined by his teammates. Head coach Mike Tomlin was also on the field, standing alone on the sideline.

The national anthem has become a huge topic of conversation since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick famously took a knee during the preseason. Kaepernick was protesting racial injustice and social inequalities, something that has been continued by other players around the NFL.

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Kaepernick’s support has only intensified since President Donald Trump made comments on Friday night in Huntsville, Alabama, encouraging NFL owners to fire players who protested during the Star Spangled Banner.

Through the early games on Sunday, every team has protested or show solidarity in one form or another, ranging from locking arms to taking a knee. The Steelers made the biggest statement, although Villanueva stayed true to his beliefs by making his way onto the field of play.