Even in a corps of cadets that typically includes a decent number of valedictorians, class presidents and team captains, older students thought Villanueva was unusually “squared away” for a new plebe.
Continue reading the main story Now, Villanueva has one more bit of fame: He was the only member of the Steelers to walk out of the tunnel before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears and hold his hand over his heart while the National Anthem played.
But in past interviews he has expressed solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, whose protests last season about the way African-Americans are treated — first by sitting, and later by kneeling, during the national Anthem — have spread to other teams, drawing the ire of President Trump over the weekend.
“I will be the first one to hold hands with Colin Kaepernick and do something about the way minorities are being treated in the United States, the injustice that is happening with police brutality, the justice system, inequalities in pay,” Villanueva said, according to ESPN .
Like a lot of combat veterans, Villanueva appears to have allowed his time overseas to frame his perspective on the rest of his life, including playing professional football.
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