Steelers don’t participate in national anthem, with exception of former U.S. Army -Ranger Alejandro Villanueva

After graduating from the United States Military Academy Villanueva was commissioned into the United States Army on May 22, 2010 as a second lieutenant in the Infantry.

Directly after being commissioned he attended various military schools, including the Infantry, Airborne and Ranger Schools; all located at Fort Benning, Georgia. After completing the three courses he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York. It was with the 10th Mountain Division he deployed for the first time; for 12 months to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan as a rifle platoon leader.

As a result of his actions during this deployment he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for rescuing wounded soldiers while under enemy fire. When he returned from his deployment, he was reassigned as a company executive officer.

Villanueva volunteered for the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Ranger Orientation Program in 2013.

He was assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion. His roles within the Battalion have included plans officer, platoon leader, and company executive officer.

He has deployed two more times to Afghanistan for a total of eight months between both deployments.

Tomlin told CBS Sports’ Jamie Erdahl prior to kickoff that his team wouldn’t be taking the field for the anthem.

After President Trump repeatedly spoke out in the last three days on players’ protests, Tomlin said he didn’t want players to feel like they had to take a side in a public display.

“We’re not going to play politics. We’re football players, we’re football coaches,” Tomlin said. “We’re not participating in the anthem today – not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from the circumstance.

“People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his teammate who chooses not to.”

The decision comes after President Trump repeatedly called for owners and the NFL to take action against players who choose not to stand during the national anthem.

At a rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump said: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”

After calling out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Saturday for his response to the comments, Trump said on Twitter Sunday that players who protested should be fined or suspended.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II said in a statement Saturday that he would not add to Goodell’s statement, which called Trump’s remarks “divisive.”