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Alejandro Villanueva’s Jersey Is Top Seller After He Was Only Steelers Player To Stand During National Anthem

Yesterday, as the NFL began its Sunday games, several players and coaches protested President Trump’s disparaging remarks against Colin Kaepernick and the NFL by taking a knee or not showing up for the National Anthem altogether.

The controversy between Trump and the NFL first began on Sept. 22, when the president spoke about NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests (without mentioning his name), saying that players that “disrespect our flag” should be fired by the team owners. He also added during his rant that if players take a knee during the “Star Spangled Banner,” coaches should “get that son of a bitch off the field.”

As football games began on Sunday, several teams came out to show solidarity towards Kaepernick and the right to protest. The Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans didn’t come out during the anthem in Nashville and opted to stay in their locker rooms during the anthem. During Sunday Night Football, the Oakland Raiders sat during the anthem, while their opponents, the Washington Redskins, chose to step out onto the field with locked arms.

Before their game with Chicago, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told CBS that his team was going to remain in the locker room during the anthem.

Initially, news outlets believed that all Steelers players remained in the locker room. One player did come out and placed his hand over his heart.

Alejandro Villanueva was the only player to stand during the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Credit: Joe Robbins / Getty

According to Penn Live, the players gathered in a secret meeting and discussed how they would respond to Trump’s comments. They all voted on three options: “They could stand along the sideline holding hands. They could stay off the field, which they did. Or they could take the sideline with some players kneeling, some standing and some of them standing putting their hands on the shoulders of the kneeling.”

All of the players voted to stay off the field with the exception of Villanueva, a military veteran.

“[Villanueva] was cool with it, with whatever we went through. He was on board. That’s Al, man,” Steelers Offensive tackle Christopher Hubbard said. “He’s a good guy.”

But because of time constraints, the players couldn’t stay in the locker room but had to stay in the tunnel, Cleveland.com reports. Villanueva didn’t want to be singled out but at the last minute, he stepped out of the tunnel and saluted the flag.

While Villanueva has yet to comment as to why he chose to stand alone, his career as a serviceman is an indication as to his support for the anthem. He also has spoken against Kaepernick’s decision to protest. Last year he told ESPN: “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.”

Although some attempted to use Villanueva as an example of a Latino athlete who was “standing up” to those protesting…

Villanueva’s parents are from Spain, not Latin America. 

Before becoming an NFL player, Villanueva served three tours as a U.S. Army Ranger Afghanistan.

Defensive end Cam Heyward commented on Villanueva’s actions on Sunday saying: “I don’t want to go into that, but we support our guy Al,” Heyward said, according to CBS Sport. “He feels he had to do it. This guy served our country, and we thank him for it.”

Another teammate, right guard David DeCastro, also said: “Al is a unique circumstance, what he’s been through, some of the things he’s talked about before. I’ve got a lot of respect for Al. I wish there was a different way to do this thing. We’ve got some people who look at the national anthem as patriotism, soldiers, all the stuff that it means, and obviously, people are upset, and I understand that. I just wish both sides understand that they want the right thing, but doing it through the national anthem, I wish there was a different way.”

While his teammates supported him, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wasn’t too pleased with Villanueva.

Like I said, I was looking for a hundred percent participation,” Tomlin told reporters after the game. “We’re going to be respectful of our football team. Man, these are divisive times in the United States. And it’s a shame, but it is, but we’re not politicians. We’re coaches and professional athletes. If those of us are individuals choose to participate in politics in some way, I’m going to be supportive of that, but when we come out of locker rooms, we come out of locker rooms to play football games, and to be quite honest with you I didn’t appreciate our football team being drug into politics this weekend. And I’m sure that’s a global perspective.”

Less than 24 hours since Villanueva saluted the flag, his gear is now the top-selling NFL gear, beating out Tom Brady.

A spokesman for Fanatics told ESPN Villanueva gear “jerseys and name and number T-shirts” has outsold all other items from various athletes.

UPDATE: In a press conference held earlier today, Villanueva said he was embarrassed for “butchering” the team’s plan to not come out for the anthem.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / Facebook

Villanueva later apologized for making his coach, teammates and team “look bad” in the process. “Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself, I feel embarrassed,” said Villanueva.

READ: This Latino Kicker Is So Good, An NFL Team Made An Unusual Move Just To Get Him

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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Federal Investigators Executed A Search Warrant On Rudy Giuliani’s N.Y.C. Home And This Is Just The Beginning

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Federal Investigators Executed A Search Warrant On Rudy Giuliani’s N.Y.C. Home And This Is Just The Beginning

Months of investigations on Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani officially came to a head Wednesday morning.

The former New York City mayor’s dealings with Ukraine officials in 2019 have been under scrutiny for months by authorities who have been investigating allegations Giuliani lobbied for powerful Ukrainian interests. The investigations have also looked into claims that Giuliani also solicited the Ukrainian government for damaging information on President Joe Biden when he was running against Trump in the 2020 election.

There is also the matter of allegations that Giuliani attempted to find information on Biden’s son Hunter, who was part of the board of an energy company in Ukraine.

Federal investigators executed a search warrant on Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home on Wednesday morning.

The search was part of a criminal investigation into Giuliani‘s activities with Ukraine. According to The New York Times, “Prosecutors obtained the search warrants as part of an investigation into whether Mr. Giuliani broke lobbying laws as President Trump’s personal lawyer.”

Federal agents seized cellphones and other electronic devices as part of the investigation. The search warrant took place around 6 a.m. at Mr. Giuliani’s apartment on Madison Avenue and his Park Avenue office in Manhattan.

The execution of a search warrant against the former president’s lawyer is particularly shocking.

The warrant comes as a major development in the investigation that has been ongoing for some time and examines the former- mayor’s conduct during Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

“It was also a remarkable moment in Mr. Giuliani’s long arc as a public figure,” noted New York Times. “As mayor, Mr. Giuliani won national recognition for steering New York through the dark days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and earlier in his career, he led the same U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan that is investigating him now, earning a reputation as a hard-charging prosecutor who took on organized crime and corrupt politicians.”

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