Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Steelers remain in locker room during anthem, tackle Alejandro Villanueva appears in tunnel

By Scooby Axson
September 24, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva was the only member of the active squad to appear near the field before the playing of the national anthem.

The remainder of the team was either in the locker room for the anthem or standing near the tunnel out of sight from the crowd at Soldier Field in Chicago

Head coach Mike Tomlin along with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, offensive line coach Mike Munchak and running backs coach James Saxon were seen on the sidelines during the anthem.

Villanueva, who was an Army Ranger and served in Afghanistan, stood near the tunnel with his hand over his heart.

Before the game, Tomlin told CBS Sports that the team would not stand on the sidelines for the anthem.

"We're not going to play politics," Tomlin said. "We're football players, we're football coaches. We're not participating in the anthem today -- not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from the circumstance.

Many NFL and executives have chosen to comment regarding President Trump's comments on NFL players and their desire to sit for the anthem.

"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. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn't be separated from his teammate who chooses not to," Tomlin said.

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