VIDEO: US Army veteran only Pittsburgh Steelers player to stand for national anthem

Posted at 12:09 PM, Sep 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-24 15:09:04-04

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.

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.

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."