NFL Sunday Gone Wild: Knee-dy players protest National Anthem, Trump

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion | 9/24/2017 | Mary Chastain
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Eyes turned to the NFL on Sunday to see which players would take a knee during the anthem after President Donald Trump called those who kneel a son of **** and asked the audience if they wouldn’t like to see the NFL fire them. He reiterated this thoughts on Twitter with his catchphrase YOU’RE FIRED.

Well, some NFL players chose to kneel while others locked arms together. A few teams chose to stay in the locker room, like the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, one player on the Steelers decided to stand for the anthem…a veteran who served three tours in Afghanistan.

Pittsburgh - Steeler - Tackle - Alejandro - Villanueva

Pittsburgh Steeler offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva stood right outside of the tunnel with his right hand over his heart.

See, Alejandro played football at West Point Military Academy for the Army Black Knights. He eventually became an Army Ranger and served three tours in Afghanistan. The government awarded him the Bronze Star Medal for Valor.

Philadelphia - Eagles - Football - Team - Tour

The Philadelphia Eagles signed him in 2014. He had said if he didn’t make a football team he would serve another tour in Afghanistan. But due to his diet and gaining 40lbs, the Eagles cut him in August of that year.

The Steelers signed him in 2015 with a two year contract. His improvements led the team to give him a 4 year contract this past July. But it was Villanueva’s anthem stance that caught the attention of head coach Mike Tomlin. From NFL:

Steelers - Mike - Tomlin - Villanueva - Game

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says he spotted Villanueva during a preseason game because of the way he stood during the national anthem, and the team later picked Villanueva up and converted him to tackle, where he became a starter during the 2015 season. He’s surprised many by stabilizing the position in Pittsburgh as part of one of the best offensive lines in football.

Here’s a piece on CBS...
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