“In a room where
people unanimously maintain
a conspiracy of silence,
one word of truth
sounds like a pistol shot.”
(image of Alejandro Villanueva, the lone Steeler player who opted to stand and
acknowledge the National Anthem prior to the Steeler / Bear game / courtesy Miami Herald)
This was not the post I intended to write today.
This was not the post I wanted to write today…
but this is the post that I felt necessary to write today.
Alejandro Villanueva is a professional football player who plays left tackle for
the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He is also a former US Army veteran.
Add to those facts that he was the only player…. the only player…
let that resonate in your head for a minute…the only player who emerged from
the shadows of the Steelers locker room to stand for Sunday’s pregame
Coach Mike Tomlin had decided to keep his players in the locker during the National
Anthem so as not to join in the latest political ruckus.
But what message did Tomlin send by hiding in the locker room…?
And if you’re wondering why any of this is of any significance to a football game,
well then you have most likely missed out on the latest minutia brouhaha percolating
to the surface between America’s favorite pastime…
that being her sporting events, verses the President of the United States.
Now let that little notion sink in…slowly.
Professional sports verses, not an opposing team, but rather the
President of the United States of America.
For there seems to be a war of words escalating beyond average comprehension.
Yet tomorrow morning’s headlines won’t consist of Alejandro Villanueva’s image
And you most likely won’t be reading the columns of sportswriters touting the
story of a lone act of patriotism….
You won’t see the National news explaining what’s wrong with grown men being paid
millions of dollars to simply play games yet who insist on using their various playing
fields to make political commentary….
their choosing to be ideologues rather than what they’re paid to do, and that is to simply play ball.
No you won’t see or hear any of that.
What you will see are the images of player after player locked arm in arm, across the league, kneeling in disrespectful protest.
You will hear the angry defiant words spewed from the mouths of players, coaches
and even the Commissioner himself, Roger Goodell.
You will hear NBA greats like LaBron James calling the President of the
United States of America a “bum”.
You will read how Stephen Curry has said that it once was an honor to visit the
White House…that was until Trump got in……
All of this latest mess coming on the heels of a speech delivered Friday evening in Alabama, when President Trump responded to the the current trend of professional
football players who are opting not to stand for the National Anthem,
preferring rather to kneel or raise a defiant fist….
his comments were swiftly met with some rather harsh criticism.
A now never ending tit for tat stemming from the poor decision made last season by Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick opted to use his very public platform as the QB of the San Francisco 49ers
to express his thoughts that the National Anthem was not an anthem of equality.
Trump told the crowded arena Friday night that such behavior is a “total disrespect
of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for.”
He went on to say that those “Sons of a Bitch” who persist with such defiance
should be fired.
I happen to agree with the President.
However do I think the President of the United States needs to jump in this fray?
I don’t know.
But when we have blatant disrespect for our very National Anthem, who better then the
President to say, “hey wait a minute, something is wrong here….”
But at the same time I am now absolutely sick over our professional athletes using
their various sport as one more link in an increasingly brittle chain of
I don’t watch football or any other sport because I want to deal with politics
or because I want to be reminded that our country is swirling down the tubes of
self absorption, ignorance and hate.
I watch sports to forget all of that.
I quit watching long ago any other sort of entertainment because it all had
become nothing but overtly violent, immoral and political while reeking of utter disrespect.
When I was still in the classroom, I can remember a growing sneering mantra offered
by one too many a defiant high school kid who butted heads with a teacher or administrator…
“I don’t give respect unless I get respect.”
Here were kids claiming that if a teacher got on to them for their behavior
that they in turn could respond with vehemence and defiance.
A gross lack of respect for an adult who in the mind of the student had actually “disrespected” them and therefore deserved no respect–a twisted thought process.
And sadly many a parent and even a growing number of administrators
found themselves, albeit for some begrudgingly, in agreement.
The writing was then on the wall….the inmates were running the asylum.
And where might these inmates be getting their life examples….??
It takes little men to stay back in a locker room trying to avoid a glaring issue.
It takes little men, who make millions of dollars for simply playing games, to act like
disrespectful selfish and childish ideologues.
But it takes a real man who will go the journey alone in order to stand up for what
is right when no one else will….
—we call those kinds of men, heroes……
Honour all men.
Love the brotherhood.
Honour the king.
1 Peter 2:17
Amen! What complete nuttiness has gone and afflicted us? This stuff is just crazy! I too happen to agree with the President. It’s not all about them,or it shouldn’t be. They’re called to entertain us and to lead, not to act like overpaid, entitled ideologues. Nothing quite like watching the recipient of some multi million dollar contract or an emmy, lament the horrors of this country and the terrible oppression they’ve experienced.
Exactly—and I for one am sick of all of this!!!
Well said my friend. I watched both of my teams play and win yesterday, but managed to miss the National anthem. I have a Theory in this whole thing, but don’t want to spoil it because it seems to be working. Our president doesn’t care what people think of him. He’s there to do a job. His wealth hasn’t gotten in the way of his priorities. He is more concerned about returning America to her former self and isn’t afraid to say it like it is. Now he needs to tell our highly paid politicians to get to work or they should be fired as well. Have you ever thought of running for office?
Ha, no one would listen 🙂
I watched Green Bay pull off the win and was glad—but like you I missed the Anthem—purposely.
No reason to get my blood pressure through the roof before the game even starts!
And then last night, with Mike Tereco making putting in his two cents before the Sunday night game with a “and we will bring you the Anthem live”, we flipped it to watch a rerun of the UCLA / Stanford game…
at least the colleges still have some semblance of order with their player during the anthem.
Never in time would I find myself avoiding watching the Anthem due to controversy.
Watch Auburn sometime as they let lose their mascot, a golden eagle, that flies around the stadium during the Anthem—take about goose bumps—totally awesome and full of respect—vs these grown men acting like angry little boys—I am absolutely sick of all of this!!!!!
Me too!!!! Everything we get enjoyment out of has turned into a political platform. I wonder why they didn’t have a fit when Tim Tebow placed his faith out there for all the world to see.
Watching Tiger fly is always fun. 🙂
It is truly humbling in the sense that that bird flying around a packed stadium– a symbolic gesture or our very freedom- always leaves me with a proud smile– and I’m a bulldog fan for heaven’s sake! That’s how great our sports can be!
Go Big Orange.
That’s fine — until a certain Saturday in November 😙
I’m for Tennessee and who ever is playing ‘Bama. 😀
I hear that!!!! 🤣
Some jewels here.
So the Pgh coach doesn’t want to be political, yet by his actions is just that.
Love the idea of one solitary voice, a lone ranger as it were. Good for him.
Exactly what was on my heart today! Thank you for expressing it so well.
And thank you Edward for supporting my obvious opposition to the mainstream world of the current lunacy! ☺️
Thank you. My heart and mind have been spinning over the weekend’s bruhaha.
I come from a different age. When I was a Cub Scout, we were ‘square.’ The counter culture of the sixties got rid of that word, but they got rid of the concept, also. There is no respect anymore, except in a song that people often misspell.
I applaud Villanueva. Being a former Army officer myself, I have a great deal of respect for him, not just because we live in the Pittsburgh area. Although Tomlin had the team hide, the word had come down from Goodell to be united in protest. Tomlin defied that. A couple of other teams stayed in the locker room also. Jerry Jones has said that is you don’t show respect to the flag Monday night, you won’t play. We’ll see.
Above all else, the youth follow the lead of sports heroes. I fear for generations to come unless we have another global awakening of the Holy Spirit to right the ship.
Well said Mark! I’m also of the square generation–I didn’t vote for nor care for Obama but he was our president and I respected that – I couldn’t stand Bill Clinton, a man who I don’t think ever showed respect for his office, house in which he lived nor the American people as he blatantly lied about running around with young interns– yet he was still the elected president and I respected that vote and his office — I hope Jerry Jones will stick to his guns!
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
Love you Julie!! 🙂
I googled Villanueva’s name and found several news articles about his action yesterday. One of them said that sales of his jersey have skyrocketed overnight. J.
Excellent!!! Here’s to the good guys for a change!!
I think it is time to start bicotting the NFL. And their sponsors as well.
Follow the example of Jesse Jackson’s organization
I think you’re right !
I would say Amen, but I kinda quit following the NFL when Dallas let Landry go. Er, yeah, I remember *those* days.
I can promise you, Tom Landry and Rodger Stabach would have never stood for any of these shenigans.
I was still watching a few players, but When Peyton Manning hung up his cleats, I stopped completely.
I watch as there’s not much else— but prefer college games! We’ll see if Jerry Jones makes good on his promise!
Ditto. Although, if you want to see “real” football (or any other sport for that matter), played for the love of the game, check out a Division II or III game. Most of those guys are using sports as a way to get an education (as opposed to a degree). Most of them know that they will never have a chance at a major league carrier.
Oh I know—my husband played back in the day for the Jacksonville Gamecocks—we know and greatly appreciate small—oh and Saturday should be an interesting game day…why to I hear Rocky Top in my head???!!
No idea. 😉 Maybe Dad’s old band, the Pride of the Southland is warming up. 🙂
Bulldogs visiting blue tick heelers and hound dogs 🙂
“You won’t see the National news explaining what’s wrong with grown men being paid
millions of dollars to simply play games yet who insist on using their various playing
fields to make political commentary….their choosing to be ideologues rather than what they’re paid to do, and that is to simply play ball.
No you won’t see or hear any of that.
What you will see are the images of player after player locked arm in arm, across the league, kneeling in disrespectful protest.”
Unfortunately true. All I saw this morning was just that. Hate directed at the President for saying just what many of us are thinking. It is reaching the point that I am considering looking for a new News station, but where would I find one that didn’t let their personal political opinions creep in? *sigh*
I’ve given up on news- heck I’m considering a new country!!
My heart was in two places this Sunday as I tuned in to watch our forever-favorite Steelers take the field. My heart broke when I first saw him standing there alone and to appreciate that Ali was faced with making a choice he most likely never imagined having to make. To either remain in the Team Tunnel with the rest of his entire Steeler Brotherhood, as their Team response to stay ‘neutral’ regarding the stand or kneel controversy. Or to stand in solidarity with all Americans who honor our Great Country and all those who serve & fight to protect her, every time the anthem is played. I am certain Ali never imagined he would need to stand to defend this Honor – before the very Country he served.
However, my heart soared with pride as I watched him do exactly what a leader should do. He stood, proud and strong, defending her still today. I am humbled to know Ali personally and I continue to be proud he plays for our forever-favorite Team. I know his courage may not be enough to enable others to follow but I promise you for those who do, they will be forever changed.
*On a personal note: our son too is an Army Airborne Ranger and is preparing for his next deployment…I am sure every family in our shoes prays for ‘tunnels’ for our brave men/women to hide in while they’re away; but we are faced with the reality that our children would view this as dishonorable and cowardly, so we pray instead that their ‘courage keep them smart & safe’ until they are back home with us once again.
God bless you for sharing such a brave post. I continue to pray that we, as a Country, can begin to heal from the division which plagues us. And like Ali, may we all find the courage to reach for the hope necessary to achieve this goal. Warm hugs!
As I will be praying for you, your husband and son- for your entire family as you step out with God in a this ledge of utter trust!
Thank you for your kind words and support as I’ve read your post with tears streaming down my face.
Prayers very much appreciated. We look forward to another end much like this past one: https://hugsnblessings.com/2017/07/15/heroes-dont-wear-capes/
and Dawn Marie please forgive all my typos, etc—that was me trying to respond to you on my phone—never a good mix—the computer is bad enough, the phone, yikes 🙂
I look forward to following your blog—
You said exactly what was on my mind Julie. This madness that’s overtaken our culture is just exhausting, somebody make it stop!
I second that- I think I’ve said before for someone to please stop the madness as I need to get off as I’m about to throw up 🤢
He was a decorated Army Ranger officer; I think he’s without a doubt the crystal clear hero of this weekend’s flag and anthem NFL drama
Good post by the way
The 49er’s millionaire quarterback started all this after his abilities faltered and he lost his job as starting quarterback, IMO, just to get into the limelight again. He started it during Obama’s reign, so it really has nothing to do with race. In my opinion, he slaps the face of every veteran of our military, those currently serving and those we have seen off on their final mission.
I totally agree with you!