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domingo, 1 de octubre de 2017

Steelers president says fans have ‘misperception’ about team’s actions during anthem!

Out of all the national anthem protests during Week 3 of the NFL season, none quite compared to the drama unfolding in Pittsburgh.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced before Sunday’s game with the Chicago Bears that the entire team would remain in the locker room during the anthem.

“We’re not participating in the anthem today,” he said. “Not to be disrespectful to the anthem. To remove ourselves from this circumstance. … That’s our decision. We’re going to be 100 percent.”

But Pittsburgh offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor, broke from his team and stood in the tunnel with his hand over his heart while the anthem played.

Tomlin was furious after the game, telling reporters, “I was looking for 100 percent participation. We were gonna be respectful of our football team.”

Villanueva, who was lauded by many NFL fans for his courage, apologized during a press conference Monday.

“Unfortunately I threw my teammates under the bus, unintentionally. … I made coach Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault, and my fault only,” he said.

Many Pittsburgh fans were very upset about the anthem stance and what some viewed as Villanueva’s forced apology. Fans burned jerseys and declared they would boycott the NFL.

Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a statement Tuesday that they had a “misperception” about the team’s intentions for staying in the locker room during the anthem.

“The intentions of Steelers players were to stay out of the business of making political statements by not taking the field,” Rooney said. “Unfortunately, that was interpreted as a boycott of the anthem — which was never our players’ intention.”

He added, “Yesterday, I received an email from a Steelers fan who said tell the players to just play football. That is exactly what they wanted to do. They wanted their sole focus to be on playing the game, while also coming together as a unified team.

“The main thing we can do is learn from this and strive to come together remaining unified as a football team.”

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expressed his regret Monday, saying on his website that he was “unable to sleep” Sunday night and that he wished the team had “approached it differently.”

“Moving forward I hope standing for the Anthem shows solidarity as a nation, that we stand united in respect for the people on the front lines protecting our freedom and keeping us safe,” Roethlisberger said. “God bless those men and women.”

The Steelers have announced that they will be taking the field for the national anthem during their next game Sunday on the road against the Baltimore Ravens.

It remains to be seen whether the team’s response since Sunday will smooth things over with upset fans.

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The post Steelers president says fans have ‘misperception’ about team’s actions during anthem! appeared first on USA Politics Today.


by Gary Maher via USA Politics Today

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