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Ben Roethlisberger Regrets Not Coming Out For Anthem: ‘Protest Shouldn’t Occur During National Anthem’
While many teams around the league decided to link arms, kneel, or raise a fist, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to not even come out during the National Anthem in a response to the words said by Donald Trump last Friday.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger now regrets what they did.
He wished he had not stayed in the tunnel. Rather, he would have like to have joined offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who was the only Steelers player to make an appearance on the field and stand for the playing of the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’
Via his personal website:
“I was unable to sleep last night and want to share my thoughts and feelings on our team’s decision to remain in the tunnel for the national anthem yesterday,” he wrote. “The idea was to be unified as a team when so much attention is paid to things dividing our country, but I wish we approached it differently. We did not want to appear divided on the sideline with some standing and some kneeling or sitting.
“As a team, it was not a protest of the flag or the Anthem. I personally don’t believe the anthem is ever the time to make any type of protest. For me, and many others on my team and around the league, it is a tribute to those who commit to serve and protect our country, current and past, especially the ones that made the ultimate sacrifice.
“I appreciate the unique diversity in my team and throughout the league and completely support the call for social change and the pursuit of true equality. Moving forward, I hope standing for the anthem shows solidarity as a nation, that we stand united in respect for the people on the front lines protecting our freedom and keeping us safe. God bless those men and women.”
Alejandro Villanueva has since revealed his regret for standing alone and essentially making his teammates look bad, which wasn’t his intention.