*When you truly stand for something, you’re going to have to sacrifice something. Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller just came to that realization.
Miller is the latest player to lose an endorsement deal as result of his protest during the national anthem. This past Sunday, Von Miller along with other Broncos players took a knee during the national anthem, resulting in Denver based Phil Long Dealerships asking CBS 4 to stop airing ads featuring Miller.
The company released a statement, which read:
“We are evaluating the events of the weekend. It is important to state that we haven’t fired Von. We are in the middle of contract renewal and this weekend’s events remind us that sometimes we feel that we best represent ourselves. We support Von and his first amendment rights, we know Von and he’s a good person. He donated a police car to his hometown police dept. All that notwithstanding when we bring in celebrities to represent us we run the risk of being misrepresented.”
The manager of the company noted that Von Miller is not fired, but that advertising is being swapped out instead.
Yeah, whatever. We know what the deal is.
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Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva has been celebrated by critics of the NFL National Anthem protests for being the only player on the team to appear and stand with his hand over his heart for the ceremony.
The problem is it now appears that the narrative that many have been running with about the display is false. On Monday (09-25-17), Villanueva provided some clarity with the media as to what the real story is.
“Very few players knew that I was going to the tunnel because I only asked the team leadership. And because of that, I did not give them an opportunity to stand with me during the national anthem. That is the very embarrassing part of my end in what transpired because when everybody sees an image of me standing by myself, everybody thinks that the team, the Steelers, are not behind me, and that’s absolutely wrong,” Villanueva told reporters.
Villanueva said that at the team’s meeting about the issue, it was established that they would collectively remain in the tunnel during the anthem. In facilitating the meet-up Coach Mike Tomlin insisted that whatever they decide to do, all of the Steelers players would have to act in one accord. However, after the meeting, Villanueva asked captain Ben Roethlisberger if he, as a military veteran, could approach forward up the tunnel to personally observe the anthem and was given the green light. Villanueva says that he was under the impression the captains of the team would be right behind him, but that when he stepped out and realized he was alone, he knew it was too late to step back into the tunnel to remain on the same page with his teammates.
“Actually the entire team would have been out there with me, even the ones who wanted to take a knee would have been with me had they known these extreme circumstances that at Soldier Field, in the heat of the moment, when I’ve got soldiers, wounded veterans texting me that I have to be out there, I think everything would have been put aside, from every single one of my teammates, no doubt,” he said.