Published: Tue, September 26, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Steelers' Alejandro Villanueva 'embarrassed' by lone-wolf act

Steelers' Alejandro Villanueva 'embarrassed' by lone-wolf act

Steelers players chose to stay in the locker room during the pregame anthem on Sunday, in an effort to avoid the controversy of whether players would stand or kneel.

"When I was a little girl, my dad was a huge Steelers fan", the woman said.

It took less than 24 hours for him to have the best selling jersey in the entire league, beating out Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers, who round out the top five for Sep. 24. Villanueva confirmed that report Monday, according to the station.

"This national-anthem ordeal has been out of control, and there's a lot of blame on myself", lineman Alejandro Villanueva said Monday. Villanueva said he arrived early and walked out far enough to see the flag.

Villanueva's appearance on the field, hand over his heart during the national anthem while the rest of his teammates remained behind in the locker-room tunnel, was one of the most striking images on a day of unprecedented protests around the league.

Villanueva wasn't available to speak in the locker room after the game, per Fowler.

Villanueva said Monday that he threw his teammates "under the bus, unintentionally", and made them and Tomlin "look bad".

Villanueva said he would support any teammates who made a decision to sit or kneel during the national anthem and that other players who have knelt during the anthem have thanked him for his service. Villanueva said he understands why teammates would be frustrated with him.

"Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself I feel embarrassed", Villanueva said. Roethlisberger and Heyward said the team will be on the sideline during future anthem presentations. "I think my teammates respected this thoroughly; it was just not communicated and the plan did not allow them the chance to go out and support me".

Protests during the national anthem began a year ago when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest the treatment of black Americans, especially by the police. "I'm not gonna pretend I have some kind of righteous voice", Villanueva said.

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