Ben Roethlisberger: I wish my team hadn't stayed off the field during national anthem
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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he wished his team had handled its protest of the national anthem differently.

Roethlisberger said in a statement on his website that he personally doesn’t “believe the Anthem is ever the time to make any type of protest” after his team decided to remain off the field during the national anthem.

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“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,” he said.

Roethlisberger said he “was unable to sleep last night” over the team’s decision.

“I personally don’t believe the Anthem is ever the time to make any type of protest,” he said. “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," he wrote. "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.”

Nearly the entire Steelers team remained off the field during the national anthem after President Trump attacked players who knelt during the anthem.

Only one player from the team appeared during the anthem: Alejandro Villanueva, a U.S. Army veteran who served three terms in Afghanistan.