CHICAGO, IL — The Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room during the national anthem before the start of their game Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
“You know these are very divisive times for our country,” Head Coach Mike Tomlin told CBS. “And you know for us as a football field, it’s about us remaining solid. We’re not gonna be divided by anything said by anyone.”
The entirety of the team will remained inside the locker room with the exception of Alejandro Villanueva, who served in the Army, and stood outside the tunnel. The Bears stood with arms locked during the national anthem.
The protest is in response to President Donald Trump’s attacks on the NFL that started Friday when he said players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired and referred to them as “sons of b***hes.” Trump’s attacks only intensified from there as did a backlash from pro athletes who largely stand united in support for athletes who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights by kneeling during the national anthem.
Many expressed their support for the Steelers and the decision made by Tomlin.