After Donald Trump’sthat called for NFL owners to cut any player who protested during the national anthem, most teams responded on Sunday by having a show of unity while the anthem was played.
However, that’s not what the Steelers did. Instead, before the team’s game in Chicago, coach Mike Tomlin decidedwhile the national anthem was sang.
“You know, these are very divisive times for our country and for us as a football team it’s about us remaining solid,” Tomlin said before the game. “We’re not going to be divided by anything said by anyone. … We’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.”
Despite Tomlin’s order, one Steelers player did make out on to the field for the national anthem, and that player was Alejandro Villanueva. While the anthem was played, Villanueva stood just outside the player’s tunnel at Soldier Field.
Alejandro Villanueva was the only Steeler to come out for the National Anthem, standing in the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/L4EtxRQSvA
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 24, 2017
As for the rest of the team, they all remained in the locker room during the anthem with the exception of Tomlin, who stood on the sideline by himself.
Mike Tomlin. No players behind him. pic.twitter.com/GYR0M4EyvR
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) September 24, 2017
Villanueva is a former Army Ranger, so he probably made it pretty clear to Tomlin that he was going to stand on the field for the anthem, no matter what.