BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

news

People Are Applauding This Man Who Was The Only Player From His Team To Come Out For The National Anthem

Alejandro Villanueva is a veteran of the Army rangers.

Posted on September 24, 2017, at 3:34 p.m. ET

During the national anthem on Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and Army ranger veteran Alejandro Villanueva stood alone during the national anthem.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

Leading up the game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, coach Mike Tomlin said that the Steelers would not be on the field for the national anthem.

"We're not going to play politics. We're football players, we're football coaches," Mike Tomlin told the NFL on CBS. "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."
Nam Y. Huh / AP

"We're not going to play politics. We're football players, we're football coaches," Mike Tomlin told the NFL on CBS.

"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."

Here's a look at the tunnel as the national anthem played.

Nam Y. Huh / AP
Joe Robbins / Getty Images
ADVERTISEMENT

Following the national anthem, the team took the field.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

A number of people on Twitter expressed admiration for the lone Steelers player. This person said that Villanueva was the "only classy" team member.

Respect to Alejandro Villanueva for being the only classy one on the @steelers team showing respect to the flag 🇺🇸

"This man is a true hero," one person said.

This man is a true hero. Thank you for your service, Alejandro Villanueva.

Thank you Alejandro Villanueva for your service!! Breaks my heart to see the disrespect from your @steelers teammates!! 🇺🇸

"Our players have stayed unified and have respected the fact that, like our country, there are diverse opinions in our locker room," the president of the team said on Sunday in a statement. "It is a difficult time in our country."

Statement from #Steelers President Art Rooney II:

ADVERTISEMENT