Was it Karma? Or did they just suck Sunday?
Note above: Alejandro Villanueva was the only visible Pittsburgh Steeler on the field standing with his hand on his heart during the National Anthem. The rest of the Steelers roster was in their locker room protesting.
What started off as a large protest to President Trump’s comment about players kneeling during the National Anthem ended in a surprising upset that some might just call karma. The Pittsburgh Steelers went into Sunday’s game as the obvious favorite facing off against the Chicago Bears who have been plagued by injury and a lack of talent in recent years.
Alejandro Villanueva, who is a former Army Ranger that served in Afghanistan, was the only visible Steeler standing for the National Anthem, hand on heart. Many of the Steelers’ players were standing in the tunnel hands at sides or on their hearts for the song, but it was not the team effort that it was given off to be. Coach Mike Tomlin was even frustrated by that.
“Like I said, I was looking for 100 per cent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team.” Tomlin continued, “We’re not going to play politics. We’re football players, we’re coaches. We’re not participating in the anthem today – not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from the circumstance.” It doesn’t appear that they aren’t playing politics.
Mike Glennon had a measly 101 passing yards on the day. Jordan Howard however led the ground game which the Bears had over 200 total rushing yards. Howard had 138 yards and two touchdowns. The second touchdown Howard scored was the one for the books. The overtime 19 yard run into the end zone sealing the Steelers fate in being the team that lost to the Chicago Bears.
Almost the entire Pittsburgh roster stayed in the locker room during the National Anthem. They were protesting President Trumps’ earlier comments. When it came to the protests, the President had this to say:
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s FIRED!’ You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag; he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Many owners expressed their displeasure with the President’s comments. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is known to agree with the President on most things, was disappointed by his words. Kraft has previously been quoted in calling President Trump a “very good friend.” So it was a surprise when he states that he was “deeply disappointed” by his friend’s comments.
The Bears grabbed an early lead in Sunday’s game, coming off of a muffed punt. The talk of power running becoming less and less effective was proven wrong with Jordan Howard stomping over the Steelers’ defense. The Bears defense also held strong, keeping the Steelers to a tight score.
Pittsburgh looked rough the entire day, but the Bears made a handful of mistakes, keeping this game closer than it should have. Glennon had a fourth quarter interception. Marcus Cooper stopped short of scoring and Connor Barth missed easy field goal.
Some may call this loss for the Steelers karma. Some may say the Bears got lucky. Either way, the Steelers put on their show and got put in the ground right after. Personally, I don’t think people should kneel or sit for the National Anthem. It is a sign of respect to those who have laid down their lives for us to have the freedom to sit or kneel. At the moment you’re reading this men and women put their lives on the line for our freedom. Whether out direct freedom is being attacked or not, they signed up to die first before submitting to losing it. We need to honor and respect that choice they’ve made for it.
I don’t believe that’s what these players are protesting. I know it’s about social and racial injustice. I don’t fully understand it as I haven’t experienced it but I know that’s what it is about. I just believe protesting the flag, and the National Anthem is the wrong way to go about it. How many people can say they would still have their jobs if they protested at them on the clock?
Alejandro Villanueva may have been the only one standing, but he has stated that he doesn’t disagree with Colin Kaepernick’s mission. He has expressed solidarity with Kaepernick previously saying he’ll be the “first to hold hands with Colin Kaepernick and do something about the way minorities are being treated…” Villanueva stated in a previous interview. He also had this to say though:
“I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that’s providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year,” while “there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year.”
Author’s Note: You can argue with me all day about the right to protest or not, I’m not going to get into politics with you. I’ve stated my belief, feel free to state yours. That’s your freedom to do so.