To celebrate, a few lucky Raiders were given the royal treatment by a very friendly family. Running back Latavius Murray and cornerback Derek Sherrard “D.J.” Hayden feasted on carnitas, salsa, chicharrón with guacamole, and chile toreado.
It was a meal fit for a king… Until the chapulines came out.
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.”
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…
@steelers IT TOOK A LATINO, ALEJANDRO VILLANUEVA, TO SHOW UP YOUR "SPOILED" RACIST BLACK PLAYERS WHO DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE THE FIELD! #Trump
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.
After one of the strangest murder trials to involve an NFL athlete since OJ Simpson, Aaron Hernandez was found dead last week in his cell in an apparent suicide. During Hernandez’s trial for the murder of two men in 2012, his previous frenemy Alexander Bradley — who Hernandez apparently shot in the face (causing him to lose an eye) — testified against him, but it wasn’t enough to convict him. Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder, all while serving a life sentence for another murder, which is only a part of Hernandez’s complicated story, if you can believe it. Here’s what we know after Hernandez’s death:
1. Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell with a bed sheet.
CREDIT: (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
According to Newsweek, Aaron Hernandez methodically went about ending his life. In the article, they detailed the painstaking measures he took to ensure his thoughts were recorded and his suicide would not fail.
According to corrections officers, it was done on purpose, so that if he changed his mind last minute, he’d have no choice but to follow through, as the floor would be too slippery to gain footing. He also made sure no one would be able to enter the cell to stop him, jamming the door with cardboard.
3. He had a reference to biblical text written on his forehead.
According to CBS Sports, Hernandez was found with the title of a famous bible verse written on his forehead in blood-red marker. The specific bible verse was John 3:16.
4. His bible was left open to the page with John 3:16 on it.
John 3:16 reads “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Those in the Christian faith see this as a verse that speaks to God’s love and his extreme sacrifice.
5. Markings were found on his hands and feet.
Signifying that perhaps he thought he was being crucified, like Jesus, as an innocent. Reports also said law enforcement was looking into whether he was smoking K2, a synthetic form of marijuana, right before he took his life.
6. His suicide came just days after his acquittal for a double murder and on the same day the Patriots visited The White House.
Some have found it suspicious, including his lawyer and agent, both of whom were surprised that he’d taken his life only five days after being acquitted of a double murder. After the acquittal, it was assumed by several news sources that an appeal would be filed for the murder he had already been convicted of and was serving a life sentence for.
7. His brain has been donated to science.
CREDIT: *Scans of several NFL player brains in CTE research, not of Hernandez’s.
To add to the strangeness of it all, within a day of his suicide it was revealed that his brain had been donated to research on CTE a disorder affecting NFL players and athletes. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition that some researchers think led to the suicides of Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson.
8. Hernandez left behind three suicide notes — this information wasn’t immediately divulged to the public.
CREDIT: (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
One was to his fiancé, another to his daughter and a third to his prison lover, confirming suspicions that Hernandez was bisexual. During Hernandez’s first murder case, investigators speculated that Hernandez’s attempt to hide his sexuality may have played a part in the motive.
9. The secrecy of his bisexuality is now being considered as one of the main motives for his previous murder conviction.
Investigators are now saying that the murder of Odin Lloyd may have occurred so Hernandez could keep his sexuality secret. Lloyd had allegedly called Hernandez a “schmoocher,” which Hernandez took for a gay slur, as one co-defendant told detectives in the case. As Newsweek reported, Hernandez’s long time high-school lover was compensated handsomely shortly before Hernandez’s arrest for Lloyd’s murder in a possible attempt to keep his sexuality a secret.
“Hernandez’s alleged longtime male lover, the high school friend, was interviewed extensively by authorities after Lloyd’s murder, and was forced to testify in front of a grand jury. Law enforcement officials also say Hernandez moved a large amount of money into three accounts shortly before his arrest for the Lloyd killing: one account was for his fiancée; a second was for his daughter; the third, where the most money was moved, was for that friend.”
Although some may find the lengths to which Hernandez would go to keep his sexuality secret — paying people off or even killing them – as extreme measures, the stress, the denial and the pain that can occur from suppressing or hiding one’s sexual identity can be dangerous to a person’s health.
According to a piece in LGBT Weekly, some of the many harmful things that can occur from the stress of hiding one’s sexuality, something Hernandez may have felt compelled to do as an NFL star, are dissociative identity disorder, chronic depression, self-disgust, self-hatred, low self-esteem and negative self-view, alcohol & drug-abuse and suicidal thoughts.
People were shocked when Aaron Hernandez took his own life, it’s no wonder watching Kennedy has become a priority with officers on him 24/7.
Aaron Hernandez left a mess in the wake of his suicide, unsolved murders, saddened loved ones, an undecided estate, and there’s no telling what is still yet to be uncovered in this case. We have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of it all. We may never know what was going through his mind when he decided to do what he did, but we can’t help but wonder what strange twists are left to be uncovered.