Alejandro Villanueva and the Pittsburgh Steelers

Yesterday during the day of protest across the NFL, there stood out a very bright spot that that deserves to be mentioned. As the Pittsburgh Steelers chose to not show for the rendition of the national anthem, a young team member by the name of Alejandro Villanueva broke with the rest of his teammates, showed up and stood for the anthem. In a remarkable display of patriotism, Mr. Villanueva demonstrated that love of country is not something for which one needs to apologize or be ashamed. He took a stand, and went against the tide with a clear understanding that respect for traditions is an honorable thing. He understood that standing for the national anthem is a symbol of respect for this nation that offers so much hope and opportunity to its people. He recognized that in standing, he is showing his respect to all those who believe in the promise of America, and all that in stands for, and in doing so; he is paying homage to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in honor of this country. In standing, he also understands that America does not have to be perfect in order for him to be grateful for all that America is. Equally important though, is that in standing; he made the decision to not bring his personal politics onto the football field, and throw his personal political beliefs in the faces of the many fans, and customers who may not agree with his position on what are very controversial issues. Mr. Villanueva’s actions on its own are nothing out of the ordinary, but in an environment where people seem to be tripping over each other to see who could demonstrate the most disdain towards their own country that has given so much to the world and its citizens; his actions are commendable. So let’s put our hands together and give this young man a round of applause for doing what should be the most routine response when the national anthem is played in those circumstances, in fact let us do one better. Let’s give him a standing ovation. Well done young man!

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