Villanueva regrets how anthem decision played out

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"We as a team tried to figure it out, obviously we butchered it, I'm not gonna pretend I have some kind of righteous voice", Villanueva said.

He said he had no doubt that if his teammates had known his intentions, they all would have stood with him, even those who were inclined to kneel or sit during the anthem.

Villanueva, who has been celebrated widely by those who aren't in favor of National Football League players kneeling in protest, said he feels bad that his action broke an appearance of unity among the Steelers.

"I think we did the right thing today", Long said.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the decision to remain off the field was not a political statement, but was meant to avoid putting players in a tough spot.

Alejandro Villanueva's #78 Pittsburgh Steelers jersey sales have risen to the Top in the last 24 hrs since he became the only Steelers player to stand for the national anthem before Sunday's game Vs the Chicago Bears. That didn't work out due to, as Roethlisberger said, pregame "chaos" in a small area, and Villanueva was left to stand alone with his teammates about 20 feet behind him. "That's a total disrespect of everything we stand for". "Basically, we felt as a team, George included, that this is issue is divisive and disrespectful", Fox said in a Sunday media release. He continued that peaceful protest throughout the season and, after not one National Football League team was willing to sign him in the offseason, a few other players continued what Kaepernick started. "People that are taking a knee are not saying anything negative about the military, they're not saying anything negative about the flag, they're just trying to protest that there are some injustices in America", he said.

Below is a video of Villanueva discussing his thoughts on the anthem and the respect that has been shown to him by teammates and opponents alike.

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Steelers chose to avoid the political dissension by remaining in the tunnel during the anthem, except for left tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva.

"Like I said, I was looking for a hundred percent participation. We have morals in this country", he says.

McCaskey continued, "What makes this the greatest country in the world are our liberties it was founded upon and the freedom to express oneself in a respectful and peaceful manner".

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