Wow — a very strong and explicit statement by the NFL‘s Pittsburgh Steelers today!!!
The team opted NOT to come out for the National Anthem, a very specific non-violent protest response to Donald Trump‘s inappropriate comments yesterday about sports stars taking a knee during the Anthem before games.
We sort of knew some type of major protests were coming today after Trump’s insane and inappropriate comments over the past few days, but this one was particularly poignant and we’re proud of the Steelers for exercising their Constitutional rights to protest non-violently!
Here’s how it all went down in real time (below):
The Steelers were not on the sidelines during the national anthem. LT Alejandro Villanueva, who served in the Army, stood by the tunnel pic.twitter.com/teTCoJ3vFx
— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterTes) September 24, 2017
National Anthem taking place in Chicago. Steelers sideline. On the other sideline Bears players standing in with arms locked hands on hearts pic.twitter.com/M7deTBF1Me
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) September 24, 2017
Obviously, as you can see, one single Steelers player — military veteran Alejandro Villanueva — opted to stand for the anthem itself, but in the tunnel near the locker room rather than on the field.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had this to say about it before the game (below):
“We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from the circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his teammate who chooses not to. So we’re not participating today. That’s our decision. We’re gonna be 100 percent.”
Of course, Trump won’t bother to understand the nuances and thoughts behind all that… he’ll just flame the Steelers and Tomlin for the decision. Wonder why…
Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos apparently had their own incredible Trump protest today, too (below):
The Broncos are blasting “F*** Donald Trump” by YG in the locker room pregame right now
— Andrew Ferrelli (@Andrew_Ferrelli) September 24, 2017