Entertainment

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: 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.

CREDIT: 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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A Ted Cruz Piñata Exists And People Want One So Bad

Culture

A Ted Cruz Piñata Exists And People Want One So Bad

abcpartyhq / Instagram

Sen. Ted Cruz has reached peak infamy with a piñata in his honor. People have been turned into piñatas over the years for both good and bad reasons. The Cruz piñata serves as a reminder of the senator’s attempt to flee the brutal Texas winter crisis.

A Texas party store is selling piñatas of Sen. Ted Cruz and people are into it.

Piñatas are always the centerpiece of a fun party and they are even more exciting when they are topical. One party shop in Texas is riding on the wave of local and national news criticizing Sen. Cruz to cash in.

Last week Sen. Cruz was caught boarding a United flight to Cancún, Mexico to escape the winter storm devastating Texas. As millions of Texans survived without water and power, the Cruz family booked a Mexican getaway to warmer weather and reliable electricity.

At first, Sen. Cruz tried to blame his daughters for fleeing Texas as his constituents suffered from the weather. He soon changed his story and claimed that he realized he had made a mistake as soon as he sat down on the plane waiting to depart from Houston.

Finally, after days of speculation, someone came forward and leaked text messages from Sen. Cruz’s wife, Heidi. Turns out, according to the texts, that the Cruz family was actively planning a vacation to avoid the snowstorm. According to the texts, the Cruz family was trying to convince neighbors and friends to join them so they can get out of their freezing house. The criticism amplified when it was reported that the Cruz family left the family dog behind as they fled to Mexico.

People are eager to get their hands on a Sen. Cruz piñata.

Families have been in quarantine for almost a year and they are hitting a wall. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it is no surprise that people would want to have something to do together outdoors. Seems that a lot of people would like a piñata party to celebrate the bad weather slowly moving out.

There are even some people asking for different people made as piñatas.

You never know unless you ask, right? Never hurts to try to make your own request to better your birthday. It seems that the party store is able to make various different piñatas. The party store made a piñata after Sen. Bernie Sanders’ famous mitten moment at President Biden’s inauguration.

READ: Sen. Ted Cruz Makes Quick U-Turn From Mexico After Outrage He Abandoned His Frozen Texas

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Mariah Carey Perfectly Shades the NFL By Calling Super Bowl Sunday ‘Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day’

Entertainment

Mariah Carey Perfectly Shades the NFL By Calling Super Bowl Sunday ‘Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day’

Credit: mariahcarey/Instagram

Mariah Carey continues to show us that it’s her world and we’re just living in it. The Songbird Supreme has never been shy about standing up for what she believes in, now matter how salty her critics can get.

On Sunday, when the rest of America was glued to their TV screens watching the Super Bowl, Mariah Carey tweeted out: “Happy Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day!”

Man interpreted the tweet as shade directed at the NFL for airing a seemingly anti-racism commercial that simultaneously revealed that the organization would be committing $250 million to ending systematic racism.

The commercial consisted of an inspirational speech being played over footage of Black Lives Matter protests.

“Football is a microcosm of America. All races, religions, living, playing, competing, side by side,” said the commercial.

Many viewers pegged the ad and announcement as tone-deaf, considering the NFL’s containing failure to support Colin Kaepernick’s (and now other Black football players’) protests against police brutality.

“Just saw a commercial that the NFL is committing $250 Million to end systemic racism yet they can’t even commit a couple million to get Colin Kaepernick signed to a team…” wrote one skeptical Twitter user.

“The NFL creating a commercial that shows players kneeling, putting “Breonna Taylor” on the back of their helmets, and ends with the league committing $250 million to end systemic racism must have @Kaepernick7 feeling some type of way,” wrote another.

This isn’t the first time Mariah has publicly showed her support for the former quarterback for the 49ers.

In 2018, Carey posted a picture on her Instagram of herself and Kaepernick together in a photo-op that (most of) her fans were going crazy over. She captioned the picture: “Such an honor to meet @kaepernick7 today!”

Carey, who is of Afro-Venezuelan descent, has always been frank about her support of racial equality and the end to police violence. She notably postponed the release of her 30th anniversary album to not detract attention from the BLM movement.

“As we continue to fight for equality and justice within our broken systems, I thank you for using your platforms to educate, inform and invoke change. Together let’s bring on a change,” she wrote on her Instagram.

While she was at it, Mariah also used her Twitter account to bring attention to another grave injustice that took place at a previous Super Bowl: the blackballing of Janet Jackson.

When one fan replied to her “Colin Kapppp appreciation thread” with the tweet, “Don’t forget it’s also Janet Jackson appreciation day,” she responded with a sly: “Yes it is! *Heart emoji*”

Sigh. No one is able to shade like the Queen.

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