Today, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told CBS Sports that his team was going to stay in the locker room during the national anthem to try to exclude themselves from all the political discussion surrounding Donald Trump’s latest comments on the subject.
We’re not going to play politics. 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.
“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.”
Nearly the entire team did indeed stay in the locker room during the anthem except for offensive tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva who decided to stand in the tunnel while the anthem played.