The Pittsburgh Steelers player who made headlines for being the team’s only member to take the field for the national anthem is donating all proceeds of his jersey sales to non-profits that benefit the military.
Alejandro Villanueva, the Steelers lineman and U.S. Army veteran, was pictured standing alone before Sunday’s game during the national anthem while the rest of the team remained in the tunnel.
His stand has made his jersey one of the top sellers in the NFL.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Villanueva is donating all proceeds of his jersey sales to non-profits that benefit the military.
Steelers’ Alejandro Villanueva is donating all proceeds on his jersey/apparel sales to USO and other military non-profits, as he always has.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 27, 2017
The team had apparently agreed Saturday evening that they would stay in the tunnel, but Villanueva made a last-minute decision before the game to get a look at the flag, telling only the team leaders. However, when the anthem started with him alone, outside the tunnel, he said it would have “looked extremely bad” to walk back to his teammates, according to ESPN.
Villanueva apologized for unintentionally throwing his teammates under the bus by not standing with them in the tunnel.
“Unfortunately I threw my teammates under the bus, unintentionally. Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself I feel embarrassed.”