Steelers’ President Art Rooney II penned a panicked letter to “Steelers Nation” after the team didn’t show up (except one player) to the field during the National Anthem before a game on Sunday. You may recall that the lone player who stood for the anthem was an Iraq war veteran and army ranger. The Steelers coach publicly shamed this player who then came out with a statement saying he regretted standing for the anthem. Now the owner is in panic mode because fans are dropping like flies…these people just don’t get it. We’re 100% FED Up! with the disrespect for our flag and anthem!
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 26, 2017
DON’T TRY AND WALK IT BACK! YOU MADE YOUR BED!
Rooney was responding to the scores of Steelers’ fans posting videos on YouTube of them burning their Steelers gear and vowing never to support the team ever again.
NICE TRY BUT WE’RE NOT BUYING IT!
“The intentions of Steelers players were to stay out of the business of making political statements by not taking the field,” wrote Rooney.
“Unfortunately, that was interpreted as boycott of the anthem – which was never our players’ intention.”
THE HEAD COACH SHAMED THE ARMY RANGER INTO SAYING HE REGRETS STANDING FOR THE ANTHEM!
“I also know that our players have tremendous respect for the members of our military services, including their teammate Alejandro Villanueva. There was never any desire on the part of our players to show disrespect for our service members,” he added.
Rooney’s conciliatory remarks are at odds with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin who indicated that he would’ve preferred if Villanueva – a veteran and the only Steelers player who emerged to the field to stand for the National Anthem – sat it out with the rest of the team.
Between the many irate fans who have sworn off the NFL in light of their disrespectful conduct and the declining viewership, the NFL and its executives are resorting to damage control to recover public support.
Just today, the NFL has begun the search for a new “Crisis Communications Strategist” to “devise strategy and long term vision to strategically position the NFL to key audiences” through various traditional and “emerging” media.
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