Donald Trump’s ongoing feud with the NFL has escalated over the past few days, and on Sunday many players from the league took a knee or simply stayed off the field during the national anthem. The players weren’t necessarily protesting Trump, but rather racial injustice in America. One of the most notable examples was the Pittsburgh Steelers, where all but one player stayed off the field during the national anthem. Now, lineman Alejandro Villanueva has spoken out regarding his decision to come out of the tunnel during the national anthem and he has said that he regrets making his team look bad.
‘Unfortunately, I threw my teammates under the bus, unintentionally. Every single time I see that picture of me, standing by myself, I feel embarrassed.’
Villanueva said that his team were open to him going outside during the anthem, but that he accidentally went too far and caused a bit of a scene.
‘When we came out of the locker room into that tunnel, it was a very small area. There was a flag or something coming off the field so there were a bunch of Bears’ fans, coming off the field holding that going in front of us, so it kind of held us up.’
Villanueva also expressed regret for making his team look bad, saying that they tried to figure out a solution, but “butchered it.” However, the former Army Ranger was quick to stress that those taking part in the protests were not being unpatriotic or disrespectful to the flag.
‘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.
‘For anybody who thinks Coach Tomlin is not as patriotic as you can get in America, or any one of my teammates, or the owner, I take offense to that. I made coach Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only.’
He also noted that many of the protesters had came up to him to thank him for his military service.
Regarding Trump’s comments, Villanueva said that he wouldn’t comment on the president’s statements.
‘I don’t have anything to say about the commander in chief and his decisions, I stick to football, I have nothing to comment about what the president says.
‘I will support all my teammates, and all my teammates and all of my coaches have always supported me.’
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Featured image via Getty Images.