Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva was the only player on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ team to come out of the locker room and stand for the anthem.
Too many Americans worship athletes as heroes. On that sideline, the real hero was easy to spot. He was the only one standing.
Athletes, you want to kneel? Great! Please go kneel at the graves of the kids killed by gang bangers, thugs, illegal immigrants, sexual predators and malnourished children that suffer at the hands of an apathetic corrupt Government.
Villanueva was a Captain in the United States Army, in which he served as an Army Ranger and was decorated with a Bronze Star for valor. He played college football for the Army Black Knights, being recruited at one position and playing three others during the course of his career. After serving three tours of duty in Afghanistan, he signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on May 5, 2014, after working out in a regional showcase.
During last year’s season, Villanueva said in response to then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protests:
“I agree that America is not perfect, I agree there are lot of issues with minorities in this country, I agree we should do something about it.
But I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down when the national anthem of the country that is providing you freedom and providing you $60 million a year is the best way to do it when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting our freedom for less than $20,000 a year.
I just know I’m very thankful to be an American. I will stand very proudly and sing every single line of the national anthem every single time I hear it. I will stop whatever I’m doing because I recognize I have to be very thankful to be in this country.
I tell my teammates all the time, especially when they talk about contracts, I’m one of the cheapest left tackles in the NFL [but] just by being an American I’ve won three lotteries. And if you have a little money on top of me, that means I have 3½ lotteries.
I’ve been very fortunate to travel a lot and see what it’s like in different countries. I’ve experienced true racism that happens in Europe with a lot of minorities. It’s very difficult for me to be here in America, as grateful as I am, in the best country in the world, and have people not be pleased about it.
I think he’s obviously upset and I think we all agree, the majority of America would agree, there’s an issue with minorities in our country, the way some groups in our population are being treated.
I just think not standing up for America is a little bit unfair on his part because he’s not taking into consideration the minorities that are fighting for the flag, like myself, the thousands of people who lay their lives so he can express himself.”
In an interview with ESPN, he also said:
“Whenever you include an entire country in one of those protests, I think you might mislead some people who truly wake up every single morning trying to give everything, including their lives, to protect this country. It’s a little bit unfair to group everybody under that category.”