Pittsburgh Steelers remain in locker room during national anthem

Most of the Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in their locker room as the national anthem played before a game in Chicago today after President Trump criticized NFL players for kneeling during the anthem.

Photos show an empty Steelers’ sideline as the anthem was played.

One player, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, came out of the tunnel to stand for the anthem. Villanueva served three tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, according to The Washington Post.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin revealed before the game that the team would remain in the locker room as the anthem played. 

“We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from the circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides,” Tomlin told CBS before the game.

“If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his teammate who chooses not to. So we’re not participating today. That’s our decision. We’re gonna be 100 percent.”

Trump has faced backlash in recent days after calling on NFL owners to fire players who kneel during the national anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,’ ” Trump said at a rally in Alabama on Friday.

–This report was updated at 1:40 p.m.


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