Villanueva: ‘I Feel Embarrassed’ – Blames Himself

As you may have heard, on Sunday the Steelers announced that they would not take the field until after the National Anthem was sang. The problem was that Alejandro Villanueva took a few too many steps and ended up too far out in front of the rest of the group.

That resulted in video and pictures of what is being preceived as him disagreeing with the teams decision to stay in the tunnel.

“Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself, I feel embarrassed,” Villanueva said.

“When everybody sees an image of me standing by myself, everybody thinks that the team and Steelers are not behind me, and that’s absolutely wrong. It’s quite the opposite. Actually, the entire team would’ve been out there with me, even the ones that wanted to take a knee.”

Villanueva said that after the team had agreed to stay in the locker room area that he approached Ben Roethlisberger to propose a slight change to their original plan. He asked that the team stand in the tunnel instead of the locker room and that he would stand in the front of the line with team captains Roethlisberger, and Cam Heyward.

Confusion after the game came when James Harrison said he thought the plan was for everyone to stand together but said ‘obviously not’. That sparked the theory that Villanueva operated on his own vindiction. Villanueva cleared that up by saying that few teammates actually new of his plan because he only approached the team captains.

Cameron Heyward said that congestion inside the small tunnel of Soldier Field caused Villanueva to get separated from the group.

“When we came out of the locker room into that tunnel, it was a very small area,” Heyward said. “There was a flag or something coming off the field so there were a bunch of Bears fans, coming off the field holding that [and] going in front of us, so it kind of held us up.”

It’s doubtful that many of the fans perception would have changed if things had gone the way they were supposed to, but maybe a few days of consideration may have given the Steelers a better idea than a late night team meeting on Saturday night.

As I reported earlier the Steelers plan to take the field Sunday in Baltimore, but will have some type of demonstration to show their belief of unity.

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