Villanueva stood with his hand over his heart and sang along with pride during the National Anthem.
The 28-year-old former Army Ranger is a bronze star recipient and served three tours in Afghanistan.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he noticed Villanueva during a preseason game because of the way he stood during the National Anthem, according to an article in NFL.com.
Imagine being Villanueva. He fought for this country and then has to play side by side with teammates who blatantly disrespect his service and the flag.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters after the team lost on Sunday that he did not want Army Ranger veteran Alejandro Villanueva to stand for the national anthem.
Villanueva captured the hearts of Americans on Sunday after photos and videos of the former Army Ranger standing for the National Anthem in the tunnel all by himself went viral.
ESPN is reported that over the past 24 hours, more Villanueva gear has been ordered than any other player!
Villanueva said in a presser Monday afternoon that he ‘made a mistake’ standing for the national anthem without his team.
He said that he made his coach and the Steelers look bad because he decided to stand for the National Anthem rather than be in the locker room with the rest of the team.
Was he pressured to say this? That remains to be seen.
The only people who made the coach and team look bad is Mike Tomlin and the ungrateful players who keep protesting the national anthem. Shame on Villanueva’s teammates. They should have been standing with him to support him, a Veteran who fought for their freedoms.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 25, 2017