Alejandro Villanueva is the starting left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has been with the team in one form or another since 2014, when he joined the Steelers’ practice squad. While Villanueva has never really been at the center of attention, all eyes were on him prior to Pittsburgh’s game against Chicago on Sunday.
Villanueva, a graduate of the United States Military Academy who served in the Army after graduating from West Point in 2010, stood in the tunnel prior to the game and put his hand on his heart for the national anthem. This was a big deal, as the Steelers made the decision to stay off the field while the anthem played because, in the words of head coach Mike Tomlin, they did not want to “play politics.”
But on Monday, Villanueva apologized for his decision to stand in front of everyone, saying he unintentionally threw his teammates under the bus.