Ben Roethlisberger, the Super Bowl winning quarterback of the Steelers who is better known to fans as “Big Ben”, issued a statement today where he expressed regret at his decision to remain absent from the field during the playing of America’s National Anthem yesterday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were one of several NFL teams who, rather than being forced to choose between kneeling or standing during the National Anthem, decided to remain absent from the field altogether.
However, one Steelers player fractured from the team and decided to exit the tunnel onto the field while standing for the entire National Anthem. Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva took a stand yesterday, literally, as pictures of his display of patriotism circulated online.
Villanueva was widely praised by fans for refusing to submit to peer pressure and remain steadfast in honoring America. In fact, fans were so impressed that sales of Villanueva’s jersey skyrocketed after his display of patriotism.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin took a swipe at Villanueva during an interview today, lamenting that he was “looking for 100 percent participation”.
Today, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fractured from Tomlin’s opinion and appeared to side with Villanueva, expressing “regret” at his decision to remain absent during the National Anthem and stating that he, “was unable to sleep last night and want to share my thoughts and feelings on our team’s decision to remain in the tunnel for the National Anthem yesterday”.
“I was unable to sleep last night and want to share my thoughts and feelings on our team’s decision to remain in the tunnel for the National Anthem yesterday,” the Super Bowl-winning QB said in a statement. “The idea was to be unified as a team when so much attention is paid to things dividing our country, but I wish we approached it differently. We did not want to appear divided on the sideline with some standing and some kneeling or sitting.
He continued, “As a team, it was not a protest of the flag or the Anthem. I personally don’t believe the Anthem is ever the time to make any type of protest. For me, and many others on my team and around the league, it is a tribute to those who commit to serve and protect our country, current and past, especially the ones that made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Roethlisberger makes a valid point when he states that he doesn’t believe that the time to protest anything, no matter the cause, is not during the nation’s National Anthem. America’s anthem is about unity, patriotism and pride in a country that has offered more opportunity to more people, including minorities, than any other nation in the history of the world. In essence, it’s about all of the qualities of America that many liberals despise, deny and seeks to diminish. Standing for the National Anthem is suppose to transcend politics or political beliefs, as Americans on any side of the isle should at least be united in their love for their country. This is true unity, and a unity which the left is trying to destroy.