"I just couldn't stand by the sidelines and watch other people do the work", he said. That lone player was U.S. Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva.
Roethlisberger emphasized that leaving Villanueva out there by himself was unintentional.
Villanueva said that the whole incident made the Steelers look bad, and for that, he feels terrible.
Villanueva said when the anthem started, it was too late for him to leave the field. I don't know if it's something in the food, the water, I don't know. "We got a group of men in there that come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, races, creeds, ethnicities, religions and so forth".
With only six seconds left on the clock, Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell lined up for a short field goal to cut Chicago's lead down to four. The rest of the Steelers roster remained inside the tunnel. Then the first verse was roaring through the loudspeakers and it was too late. Cornerback Sherrick McManis said Monday he wasn't sure if they'd do it Thursday against the Packers.
"I will support all my teammates, and all my teammates and all my coaches have always supported me", said Villanueva, who went undrafted in 2010, when he began serving his active duty commitment after graduating from West Point. There was no division there. "There was no division there.It was just the way it appeared through pictures".
Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson, whose brother, Woody, is the ambassador to England and one of Trump's most ardent supporters, called it "an honor and a privilege to stand arm-in-arm unified with our players during today's national anthem" in East Rutherford, New Jersey. President Donald Trump had a suggestion on Saturday for National Football League owners whose players decide to take a knee during the national anthem: fire them.
"I've made the Steelers look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only", Villanueva said. Villanueva confirmed that report Monday, according to the station. The Ravens issued a statement from Bisciotti minutes after kickoff, saying: "We recognize our players' influence".
Protests of this nature started when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat, then kneeled, for the playing of the anthem beginning in August 2016 to call attention to the oppression of minorities across the United States.
Villanueva wasn't doing anything of the sort.
"Yesterday was an important day for the league, and we think, a good one", Lockhart said.
"It wasn't me stepping forward. We're just trying to make a better society".