There are few players in the NFL more qualified to discuss the national anthem and the flag than Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva. He served multiple tours of duty in the Army and is highly decorated.
When Villanueva went on 97.3 The Fan on Friday he was asked about the comments of New Orleans Saints quarterback about the national anthem and the heat Brees took, finally forcing him into an apology.
Villanueva is a smart guy and rather than get baited into an answer, he put it squarely back on the media.
“It was taken out of context the last time I talked about this issue. I will never speak on it again” said Villanueva. “I’m gonna blame it on the media. The media is always trying to hyper focus things. Pit people against each other. The media is unbelievably divisive right now.”
Villanueva is half right. The media and their desire to put out the story is a part of the problem. But social media is the other. Twitter turned into an angry mob the second Brees’ comments were made public and he was in essence bullied into an apology. We can’t have true growth and progress from all this if only one side is allowed to speak their truth without fear of backlash.