National Football League players made themselves look bad

Annette Crawford
October 3, 2017

If there's any player in the National Football League you'd expect to see honoring America during the anthem, it's Villanueva, a third-year pro who was previously an Army Ranger.

The Steelers planned to stay in the Soldier Field locker room during the anthem before a 23-17 loss to the Chicago Bears as a way to avoid political demonstration.

"I'm exhausted of the cameras in my face all the time", Villanueva said, via NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala.

"To use me as a tool to push an agenda and push message is completely unacceptable", he said.

Villanueva said last week he felt "embarrassed" about being the lone Steeler on the field in Week 3 at Chicago and that "this national anthem ordeal has sort of been out of control". I love the organization, coach Tomlin, and the offensive line. Every single citizen has their rights.

"Unfortunately, I threw (my teammates) under the bus, unintentionally", he continued.

Villanueva was particularly bothered by the fact that some saw his anthem stance as a sign of defiance against Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who said last week that his team would stay in the locker room instead of coming out on the field for the national anthem.

The flag flew in front of my elementary schools in MS and Alabama where only those children who looked like me could attend and flew at internment camps where we held prisoner American citizens whose only crime was being of Japanese descent. I will support all my teammates, and all my teammates and all my coaches have always supported me.

Good news for Villanueva and Tomlin: The Steelers appear to be done with pregame demonstrations. Tomlin said that the objective was to keep the team's focus on football and to avoid division inside the locker room. "Last Sunday was the first time, you know, we ever had any kind of incident with regards to the anthem". I am not into the politics of the game. "And I think our players prefer to just go out on the field and play football".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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