Alejandro Villanueva explains National Anthem flap

Alejandro Villanueva explains National Anthem flap

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva apparently wanted to see the flag, but remain in the tunnel with his teammates during the National Anthem on Sunday, but things didn’t go quite as planned.

Per ESPN: ‘Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who toured several times in Afghanistan, asked quarterback Ben Roethlisberger if he could stand in front of the tunnel to get a vantage point. Roethlisberger agreed, and Villanueva ventured out while trying to gauge where the flag was. He contemplated turning back, but the anthem had already started at that point. Only the team captains — Roethlisberger and defensive end Cam Heyward — knew about this last-second arrangement.’

“When everybody sees the image of me by myself, everybody thinks the team, the Steelers, are not behind me, and that’s absolutely wrong,” he said. “I made Coach [Mike] Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only.”

“I see that picture of me standing by myself and I’m embarrassed to a degree, because unintentionally I left my teammates behind,” Villanueva said. “It wasn’t me stepping forward. I never planned to boycott. … At the end of the day, whether I want it or not, whether it was my intended plan or not, the reason I went out there by myself is the reason it’s causing all this distress.”