Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Alejandro Villanueva made a fiercely patriotic statement on Sunday, being the only player on his team to emerge from the locker room and stand the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ prompting his jersey sales to skyrocket throughout the US, reports Fox News.
Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan, was the sole Steeler to emerge from the locker-room during the national anthem; with other teammates taking part in a league-wide protest over President Trump’s harsh words regarding those who protest the nation’s flag during opening ceremonies.
NFL fans and American patriots are showing their support for the offensive lineman, ordering his jersey and other sportswear in droves. According to Fanatics.com, Villanueva’s jersey skyrocketed to the top of the charts on their online store, trailing only custom shirts and Antonio brown’s jersey.
Villanueva played college football at West Point before serving three tours of duty in Afghanistan. The Steeler was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for Valor during his time in the US Army.
“I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that’s providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year … when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year,” said Villanueva.