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Fox Sports commentators Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe criticized the Steelers’ Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army ranger, for being the only team member to stand for the national anthem Sunday.

While the Steelers team chose to stay in the tunnel for the anthem before their Sunday game, Villanueva exited the tunnel and stood for the anthem with his hand over his heart.

But not everyone was thrilled with Villanueva, who served combat tours in Afghanistan before playing for the NFL.

“I think he was wrong in this situation, Skip,” said Sharpe, who is also a former NFL player. “I believe he put his personal feelings in front of that of the team, and this is a team.”

“If the team took a vote and said, ‘this is what we’re going to do,’ although I understand that he served in the military … this is a team,” Sharpe continued. “We criticize so many athletes when they put their goals, their ideas in front of the team — well that’s what he did. He said, ‘forget what you guys said, this is what I’m going to do.’”

Bayless agreed that Villanueva was wrong to come out of the tunnel for the anthem, stating, “I’m with you, it didn’t work for him to come out of the tunnel if in fact you all agree and voted … to do this as a team, to stand up in the tunnel until the anthem is done.”


  • Vettemaniac says:

    He swore to an oath as a Ranger that, by far, “Trumps” anything the NFL(Notworthwatching Football League) has! He stood by that oath & for that, I commend him!

  • Hans Brakob says:

    He chose personal integrity (on a non-Football matter) over the wishes of a crowd. This is NOT a “football team” issue, it is a matter of personal ethos. The other players made their personal choice, he made his personal choice. The coach is a lout for shaming him in a news conference.

  • BETH says:

    Keep politics out of Football. You are ruining the game.

  • CF