It seems señor sissy pants, Mike Tomlin — aka Steelers coach, couldn’t wrap his brain around the idea that not all of his players agreed with protesting the national anthem.
Tomlin said that the Steelers would be remaining in the locker rooms, on Sunday, when the national anthem was being played in a sign of protest. The whole team, however, knew that one player would most certainly not comply with that plan, and that was tackle Alejandro Villanueva.
Villanueva is a former Army Ranger and Afghan war veteran and decided, despite the coach’s demand, to come out to show respect for the flag. You would think this would be a no-duh moment for Tomlin, but it seems he threw somewhat of a b*tch fit after Villanueva did this.
When answering questions from reporters after the game, Tomlin seemed to rap Villanueva, repeating the claim that the team was looking for, “100% participation,”
Tomlin said, “Like I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team.”
Apparently, in Tomlin’s world, respect for team is over and above respect for someone who risked his life to defend his country.
Via Fox, “Tomlin told the media that, prior to kickoff Sunday, the Steelers held a team meeting and decided, though not unanimously, to not come out of the locker room for the national anthem. Tomlin added the intent was to have his team focus on the game and not President Trump’s comments blasting players who chose to protest during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.””
Tomlin said, “Many of them felt like something needed to be done. I asked those guys to discuss it and whatever they discussed that we have 100 percent participation or we do nothing. They discussed it for an appropriate length of time and they couldn’t come to an understanding, so they chose to remove themselves from it. They were not going to be disrespectful in the anthem so they chose not to participate, but at the same time many of them were not going to accept the words of the president.”
Villanueva, clearly had a different mentality about what the anthem meant for him.
Tomlin continued, “We’re not politicians. We’re coaches and professional athletes.If those of us or individuals choose to participate in politics in some way I’m going to be supportive of that. But when we come out of locker rooms, we come out of locker rooms to play football games.”
Villanueva did not have kind things to say about Colin Kaepernick’ movement. In 2016, Villanueva said, “I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that’s providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year…when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year.
“I will be the first one to hold hands with Colin Kaepernick and do something about the way minorities are being treated in the United States, the injustice that is happening with police brutality, the justice system, inequalities in pay. You can’t do it by looking away from the people that are trying to protect our freedom and our country.”