The entire Pittsburgh Steelers team remained in the locker room during the National Anthem, with the exception of one player: Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, who plays offensive tackle for the Steelers.
While the rest of his teammates remained in the locker room, Villanueva stood in the tunnel holding his helmet in his left hand, and holding his right hand over his heart as the anthem played.
Alejandro Villanueva was the only Steeler to come out for the National Anthem, standing in the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/L4EtxRQSvA
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 24, 2017
Villaneuva played in college at West Point Military Academy before going on to become an Army Ranger. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014 before eventually joining the Steelers.
An NFL.com article earlier this year said that Villanueva first caught Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s eye “because of the way he stood during the national anthem.”
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
NFL players around the league are kneeling in protest during the National Anthem, following President Trump’s statement that players who do so should be fired.
A large number of Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens players knelt during the National Anthem during their game in London on Sunday, but remained standing during God Save The Queen.