On Sunday, NFL games became more about politics than about football. Dozens of players refused to stand during the national anthem. Moreover, some teams even refused to come out on the field during the song and opted to stay in their locker rooms.
The NFL protests were the talk of the country on Monday and people were defending both sides of the matter. One particularly inspiring story emerged from Sunday's games. Before the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Baltimore Ravens, their team decided to stay off of the field during the national anthem.
One player, however, seemingly "took a stand" against the protests and came out on the field alone during the national anthem. Photos of offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva circulated the Internet and the U.S. Army vet was praised for his stance.
Now, however, reports are coming out that the notoriety was not his intention. In fact, he is now saying that going out on the field before his team was a mistake.
According to Fox, Villanueva told reporters on Monday that he "unintentionally" threw his teammates under the bus. He said that it was not part of the plan to go out on the field alone, but that there was confusion that led to the situation.
He said, "Unfortunately I threw my teammates under the bus, unintentionally. Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself I feel embarrassed."
The athlete said that he was planning on leading the team out of the tunnel with the captains, which was why he was in the front. He said that there was confusion at the end of the tunnel.
“When we came out of the locker room into that tunnel, it was a very small area," he 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 going in front of us, so it kind of held us up."
He finished his statement by defending those who chose to stay inside.
He said, "I made my teammates look bad, and that’s my fault, and my fault only. We as a team tried to figure it out, but obviously butchered it...People that are taking a knee are not saying anything negative about the military, they’re not saying anything negative about the flag, they’re just trying to protest that there are some injustices in America."
When people thought that Villanueva was taking a stand, his jersey became the top-seller among Steeler's jerseys. Now, people are questioning if there is anyone in the NFL that they can put their support behind.
What do you think about this? Let us know your comments on Facebook. For other NFL news, new reports are coming out now that say that the NFL #TakeAKnee campaign could end sooner than expected.