Many angry NFL fans have chosen a different way to express their dissatisfaction with the league and its players. As Yahoo reports, Steelers’ offensive-lineman Alejandro Villanueva’s jersey becomes an overnight best-seller after he stands for anthem.
The 29-year-old is a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan before returning to football (he played at Army) in 2014. He has played in 35 games over the past two-plus seasons with Pittsburgh, starting all three games so far this year.
On Saturday and Sunday, as NFL players discussed how to handle the freedom of speech issue in regards to National Anthem protests, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told his players that they MUST be unified – either they would be in agreement of what to do on the field, or no one from the team would be on the field.
Since they couldn’t come to a consensus, Pittsburgh players and coaches were supposed to stay in the locker room, though it was later amended to the team’s tunnel near the Soldier Field turf because of timing.
Now tell me how that is freedom of speech. Forcing someone to avoid standing for the National Anthem? That is just poor leadership.
But as the rest of his teammates stood in the shadows, however, Villanueva walked out about 20 feet in front of them, his hand over his heart, during the playing of the anthem.
His teammates were reportedly shocked that Villanueva stood by himself, as the edict was that the entire team was to show “unity” over respect. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated Sunday night that he did not want offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva to stand for the national anthem, instead of sitting it out with the rest of his teammates…
Tomlin said in a post-game press conference that he was looking for “100 percent participation” in whatever course of action the team took during the national anthem. When asked by a reporter about Villanueva coming out for the anthem, Tomlin said, “Like I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team [but not our country]”.
So will there be a punishment for Villanueva?
Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday . Some of the loudest such ‘boos’ came for the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium when a number of Patriots kneeled for the anthem. Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo stood next to the group of kneeling Patriots and locked arms. Tom Brady responded to the boos saying that he just “disagrees” with the President and thinks his tweets are “just divisive.” Presumably, that means that Brady is of the opinion that exploiting his star power to make a political statement is not equally divisive?
With all of the drama queen grandstanding and emotional reactions from the NFL over the weekend, the sport’s smartest executives seemingly proved that they have no idea they’re fighting a battle that simply can’t be won.
The NFL doesn’t seem to understand that while almost every American can agree that football is a great sport, roughly 50% of them will vehemently disagree with whatever political stance any given player or league exec decides to publicly announce. And, since the NFL’s future depends on selling overpriced ad spots to massive corporations looking for a consistent number of eyeballs, alienating any group of viewers, for whatever reason, is just bad for business.
Just ask the Dixie Chicks.
And in a Trump VS NFL fight, Trump wins because most people realize that if you’re going to allow the football field to be a place of POLITICAL protests, which it has been for over a year now, then expect a POLITICIAN to have an opinion about that.
Here’s just a couple of examples for what the fans had to say over the weekend.
“It’s a disgrace. It’s disgusting. They’re getting paid to do a job…to play ball and do whatever the fans want them to do.”
“They’re paying these guys to do a job. They’re not supposed to be involved in politics.”
Meanwhile, Ravens fans are burning their jerseys to the tune of the national anthem.
“You can take your Kansas City Chiefs and you can take your NFL and you can shove it.”
“Now, think about that and think about the millions a year that you people are making to play a game while we got soldiers overseas that get paid minimum wage to put their lives on the line for that flag.”
“Protest does not belong in our NFL sports. It’s a game.”
But these videos were hardly unique as fans all around the country torched their NFL gear…
I have been a Steelers fan since 1966, but no more. pic.twitter.com/9W4oMl1EhF
— Starving1 (@ArvinGibbs) September 24, 2017
Brendan Finn, a New York Giants season ticket holder since the ’80s, even decided to burn his tickets…
Finally, the owner of the Palmetto Alehouse in South Carolina took things to a whole new level after declaring that his restaurant would not air another NFL game until “all players pay respect to our flag and our country!!!”
The irony is the Liberals claiming Trump is being divisive on this issue.
The fact is, the flag has 50 stars as it is the unifying symbol of the Nation. The Nation is the ONE thing that unifies Americans.
So when the players take a knee and dishonor the flag (for whatever silly reason), they are the ones being divisive.
The President condemning that divisiveness is actually NOT divisive.
But it’s just like Liberals to turn everything on its head, make black to white. Because the Liberals want to destroy our Nation, not just with assaulting our symbol of unity, but with open borders, “free trade”, and anything else that opens the door to global government.
So, to all the NFL execs who can’t help but politicize their league, good luck with all those “make-good” advertisements that will come out of your own pockets when your viewership hits an inevitable dip over the coming weeks.