The Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room as the national anthem played before their game with the Chicago Bears -- all except offensive lineman and U.S. Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva.
Villanueva, a West Point graduate who served three tours in Afghanistan, stood in the tunnel with his hand over his heart at the anthem played.
Alejandro Villanueva was the only Steeler to come out for the National Anthem, standing in the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/L4EtxRQSvA
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 24, 2017
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stood by himself on the sideline.
How each team would observe the national anthem emerged as the center of attention on this NFL Sunday in the wake of Trump's critical remarks toward players who don't stand for the anthem.
Hell freakin yeah.
He was in my battalion. https://t.co/XhTX9nZry5
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) September 24, 2017
Tomlin had said before the game that Pittsburgh's players would remain in the locker room and that "we're not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda." Tomlin added that the Steelers made this choice "not to be disrespectful to the anthem but to remove ourselves from this circumstance. People shouldn't have to choose."