Earlier today, it was reported that the all of the Pittsburgh Steelers players would remain in the locker room while the national anthem played prior to the start of their away game with the Chicago Bears. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin explained that the team wouldn’t participate because he didn’t want to force players to choose whether or not to take part in a protest.
While the Star Spangled Banner played ahead of the contest today, all of the players did indeed stay in the locker room — except for one. Afghanistan veteran, former Army Ranger, and West Point graduate Alejandro Villanueva stood at the tunnel entrance while the song was played, standing with his hand on his heart. While the rest of the players remained inside, Tomlin was seen on the sideline.
After the anthem was done, the rest of the team came running out of the tunnel, to a chorus of boos from the Chicago crowd.
NFL players were expected to engage in widespread demonstrations during the national anthem after President Donald Trump attacked athletes who kneeled during the anthem as a way of protesting racial injustice.
Watch the clip above, via CBS Sports.
[image via screengrab]