The Pittsburgh Steelers presented their decision to stay off the field during the national anthem on Sunday as a unified decision to avoid controversy, but it’s becoming quite clear that the move was controversial with some players.
Like team leader, Ben Roethlisberger.
The quarterback issued a statement via his official website yesterday saying that he felt the team should have approached the situation differently.
“I was unable to sleep last night and want to share my thoughts and feelings on our team’s decision to remain in the tunnel for the National Anthem yesterday,” Roethlisberger wrote. “The idea was to be unified as a team when so much attention is paid to things dividing our country, but I wish we approached it differently. We did not want to appear divided on the sideline with some standing and some kneeling or sitting.”
“I appreciate the unique diversity in my team and throughout the league and completely support the call for social change and the pursuit of true equality,” Roethlisberger wrote. “Moving forward, I hope standing for the Anthem shows solidarity as a nation, that we stand united in respect for the people on the front lines protecting our freedom and keeping us safe. God bless those men and women.”
And on top of that, Mike Tomlin’s move seems to have backfired as apparently there’s something to be said for the motivation a player feels in that awe inspiring moment of the anthem.
Which may very well be why the Steelers team came out and played well, very uninspired against the Bears—not scoring until the end of the second half and ultimately losing in overtime 23-17 despite being a full TD favorite.
Source: Larry Brown Sports