Former Army Ranger, current Steelers LT says Kaepernick’s method isn’t “most effective”

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Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who graduated from West Point and did three tours of duty as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan before starting his NFL career, told reporters Monday that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being “unfair” to veterans by refusing to stand for the national anthem.

Villanueva said Kaepernick should be “a little more careful” because of the platform he has and make sure he doesn’t “mislead people who truly wake up every morning trying to give everything — including their lives — to protect this country.”

Though Villanueva said he agrees with Kaepernick that something needs to be done to change the way minorities are treated in America, his comments about Kaepernick’s method of protest were similar to those made Monday by Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

“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, the inequalities in pay and education,” Villanueva said. “I will be the first, but you can’t do it by looking away from the people who are trying to protect our freedom in our country.”

Per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Villanueva initially didn’t want to talk about Kaepernick but opened up when he was asked about standing for the national anthem and the responsibilities athletes have related to that.

Kaepernick has said he’s refusing to stand for the national anthem because he’s going “to stand with the people that are being oppressed.” Villanueva said he will continue to “stand proudly and sing every line” of the national anthem, which he’s been doing since he first enrolled at West Point.

“There are people fighting, so you can say and do whatever you please,” Villanueva said. “I agree that America isn’t perfect and there are a lot of issues with minorities in this country, and I agree that we should do something about it. I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem of a country that’s providing you freedom, and is providing you $16 million a year when there are black minorities who are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting our freedom for less than $20,000 a year.”

77 responses to “Former Army Ranger, current Steelers LT says Kaepernick’s method isn’t “most effective”

  1. Who really cares if Kaepernick doesn’t stand for the national anthem. He’s a football player not a congressman. Get over it.

  2. Best thing I’ve read about this situation.

    It’s not a matter of him being well-said, which he is.

    It’s actually a matter of him being considerate, honest and respectful.

  3. Kap clearly said he has the nothing but respect for the armed forces and for the men and women who gave their lives defending this country… He said what he has an issue with is how the government and courts keeps allowing black men being shot and murdered in cold blood and they’re getting off with no jail time or no accountability. They get slap on the wrist and desk duty for a few months and still get paid.. if you don’t see anything wrong with whats going on in this country or how not only black men but minorities as a whole are being targeted then there is something really wrong with you

  4. Oh, I don’t know who Villanueva is, but he just absolutely nailed it. 100% agree with everything he said. Our country has issues, but you don’t turn your back on our flag, soldiers, and our vets… EVER!

  5. Alejandro Villanueva was a LEADER of his Ranger troops STANDING up & fighting, kap LEADS his fight by sitting down

  6. Protecting our freedom… LOL

    More like carrying out the dirty deeds of slimy government officials and the 1% who won’t get their hands dirty and certainly won’t be taking a bullet to fatten their wallets when they gave minorities to do that.

  7. Glad to see Kaepernick continue to be pummelled by police associations, military groups, NFL players and the overwhelming majority of Americans who have a deep respect and appreciation for all this country offers EVERYONE.

    If you don’t like America, don’t complain and insult the country. Just please leave.

  8. Most Americans ridicule Europe’s high income taxes but at least they actually get something for their tax money, like free education and health care instead of indebting 22 year old college students and sick people for years. What do we get? Roads?!

    Oyr paychecks really don’t show any true breakdown of how our tax money is spent, it generally just shows three amounts: Social Security, State Tax and Federal Tax.

    FYI the reason they don’t show the breakdown and the reason we don’t have free education or health care is that 59.7% of the federal taxes we pay goes to military.

    Truly sickening.

  9. Villanueva is deluded if the thinks that what the American military is doing is protecting the rights of Americans to say and do whatever they please.

  10. This story has more legs than a centipede. If he really wants to effect change he needs to do something more than sit on his ass

  11. “I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem of a country that’s providing you freedom, and is providing you $16 million a year when there are black minorities who are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting our freedom for less than $20,000 a year.”

    This should put on billboards and signs around Levis Stadium and the 49ers practice facility.

    This is why people are outraged by Kap. It’s the hypocrisy in NOT standing for the anthem of the country that gives you (Kapernek) so much when som have so little.

  12. I served eight years as a Marine and now serve on a local Honor Gaurd. I raised and retired the colors on active duty and now present them to grieving family members. So you know how I feel. Forget that. What’s missed is that there is no free speech at work folks. I put this equally on the 49nr’s organization. He’s been sitting for weeks and they did, and do, nothing. You can’t be disrespectful to you peers, your employer, your corporation, or your customers. We, America, are the customers and we are disrespected.

    I served and work with all my brothers and sisters. Regardless. Want to talk inequality? Income inequity. Kap and the organization are members of the 1%. They don’t get it! He drives his Porsche, kisses his Bi’s, yet won’t put his money where his mouth is. They all do this. Pro-Kaps here, in The Hamptons, San Fran, or Martha’s Vineyard- just don’t get our reverence.

    We could also talk MLK’s reverence for the flag. Another post.

  13. His logic is flawed anyway. The American flag represents liberty, justice, unity… all the good things good citizens aspire to. It is not meant to represent those who wish to divide us, suppress justice, etc. When you disrespect the flag, the symbol of our country, you’re essentially stating that you don’t believe in or support the good things we’re about and the good people who’ve worked hard and fought and even died to help us aspire to these things. Disrespect it, and them, if you want, Colin, but you’re simply causing more division among us, and acting like those to whom you’re purportedly opposed… and looking like an ass while doing it.

  14. On the list of priorities in my life at the moment. The soon to be ex-49rs QB’s little stunt and what this Army superhero thinks about it ranks pretty low.

  15. People need to realize, Kaepernick won’t stand for the anthem because it won’t cost him money. Any other protest would’ve lead to fines most likely.

  16. When did the military obtain this monopoly on the meaning of the national anthem?? The flag symbolizes freedom and CK is exercising his freedom to criticize racial inequality. He’s gone on record to say he doesn’t mean to disrespect the military. That should be enough.

  17. not all us vets feel the way that this guy does, he is a graduate of west point and still doesnt understand that the flag is not just about the military? Plus if he is a graduate of west point he is probably an officer, he has no clue the oppression of the Enlisted!

  18. I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem of a country that’s providing you freedom, and is providing you $16 million a year when there are black minorities who are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting our freedom for less than $20,000 a year.”
    ____________
    *drops mic*

  19. “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, the inequalities in pay and education,” Villanueva said. “I will be the first, but you can’t do it by looking away from the people who are trying to protect our freedom in our country.”

    I completely agree, but Kap does have the right to do so, whether misguided and stupid or not.

    He’s an American in America, not a subject of the Soviet Union, not a pawn in North Korea, not under the thumb of some secret police. And this is one of the reasons America is stronger, because one person speaking out is not looked upon as some kind of potential destroyer of the country, they’re looked upon as someone doing one of the most American things possible; there is no reason to fear Kap (unless he’s your QB). If he were I Afghanistan speaking out against the Taliban, they’d kill him, because they’re weak and frightened and thus they fear any voice of dissent. America is bigger than that, stronger than that.

  20. And I always thought the flag represented our country and freedom. I never knew it was some badge of worship for the military and police to hold above everyone’s heads.

  21. Whena a 6’10, 340 lb guy with Army Ranger training directs advice personally to me, I would take his words very, very seriously.

  22. Please explain to me how standing and collectively reciting a song about a war which occurred over 200 years ago helps the troops?

    There are plenty of things that can be done for the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our nation, starting with making our elected officials accountable for the shoddy treatment they receive when they get home.

    You wanna honor the troops, donate to the Wounded Warrior project. The national anthem is just unfettered nationalistic nonsense.

  23. Hmm, he’s willing to publicly speak out against a guy who won’t stand for the National Anthem. I wonder if he’s willing to speak out against a guy who said he openly dislikes POWs. One seems a little more disrespectful than the other.

  24. It’s not all about you, veterans, this isn’t about you at all actually. It’s about the injustices of African Americans in this country and as an American, it’s his RIGHT to freedom of speech whether you agree with his stance or not. I never liked kaep, we are getting too caught up with what he did and ignoring the real issue which is the way African Americans are treated in this country.

  25. Lifelong long 49ers fan here. Colin Kaepernick makes me sick to my stomach. This privileged little puke who grew up in a wealthy family and is now making millions lecturing us on “what its really like out there”. How the hell would he know? This self entitled jerk has spent his life receiving adoration from being an athlete yet suits here insulting military personnel and police. Kaepernick my least favorite 49er of all time and its not even close. I will not support this team until Colin Kaepernick is released!

  26. “Monday that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being “unfair” to veterans by refusing to stand for the national anthem.”

    Yet in his interview one of the issues Kaepernick covered is military veterans, and now a lot don’t receive proper treatment by their country once they’re veterans.

    I don’t see this guy saying ANYTHING about that. He needs to take several seats.

  27. What a classy individual!!

    He is the poster person for what is right with America and the NFL.

    I salute you Alejandro Villanueva!!

  28. But Kap doesn’t actually want to “do” anything, he just wants to bitch about it and be relevant. If he wanted to really do something there are many ways he could go about it. All he wants is a racism excuse when he gets cut.

  29. This just a lame attempt to do nothing. If he was serious he would not play under this flag. Oh wait, he isn’t going to play.

    All you other players who agree with him,
    take a real stand, don’t suit up & don’t play.

    Until you do that,
    you are all a bunch of phony cowards.

  30. isithockeyseasonyet says:
    Aug 30, 2016 12:19 AM

    It’s not all about you, veterans, this isn’t about you at all actually. It’s about the injustices of African Americans in this country and as an American, it’s his RIGHT to freedom of speech whether you agree with his stance or not. I never liked kaep, we are getting too caught up with what he did and ignoring the real issue which is the way African Americans are treated in this country.

    ____________________________

    When you decide to disrespect a flag that is symbolic of the sacrifices of soldiers it actually is about veterans.

    No one is arguing his RIGHT nor his stance, its the matter he went about it. Its akin to how All Black lives Matter takes offense to All Lives Matter…

  31. @stainlineho: As an Army Ranger Captain that served three tours in Afghanistan and was awarded the Silver Star, what is it about Villaneuva’s resume do you question?

    Interesting, he is also a minority.

    As for the anthem, it’s a hard to sing song (I’ve had to do it), hard on the ears and given less relevance in that most broadcasts are in commercial mode when it’s performed at sporting events……so maybe it should go. But while it’s here, we should respect what it STANDS for.

  32. datruth407 says:
    “Aug 29, 2016 9:54 PM
    Another person who has something say yet he doesn’t offer not ONE solution on what Kap should have done different.”
    Another illiterate that ( or should I say dat) does not know what a double negative is. Go ask a third grader moron!

  33. stainlineho says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:22 AM
    Just because you are Ranger qualified doesn’t make you a Ranger. You have to be in a battalion.

    __________________

    Umm except the fact that he was in a battalion. He was assigned to the 1st Rangers Battalion as a platoon leader. I understand that reading comprehension is still difficult for you, but hell it even says that he seen 3 tours of duty as a Army Ranger(which means he had to be in a battalion)

  34. datruth407 says:
    Aug 29, 2016 9:54 PM

    Another person who has something say yet he doesn’t offer not ONE solution on what Kap should have done different.
    __________________________________

    Kap says plenty about oppression of minorities while wearing a Fidel Castro shirt… Your right just another idiotic person with something to say and no solution.

  35. stainlineho says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:22 AM
    Just because you are Ranger qualified doesn’t make you a Ranger. You have to be in a battalion.
    ——————————
    The article says “did three tours of duty as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan”.
    So what part of that makes you think he isn’t a Ranger?

  36. AV quickly became my favorite Steeler about midway through last season. Every interaction or interview with this man has been nothing but impressive.
    Also, I don’t think the article mentioned that he immigrated to this country as a child. I’d say he assimilated pretty well. RESPECT.

  37. Kaepernick is a total scumbag. He knew he was about to get cut so this was the only way he could somehow keep what little was left of his celebrity going. I hope the Chargers defense gives him a concussion.

  38. The goal of Kaepernick was to get attention, and boy did he get it since we’re still talking about his actions a week later. What the biggest thing MOST people are completely ignoring is the message, instead they’re too focused on the actions of disrespecting the National Anthem. For some people, there’s a knee jerk reaction to deny racism and then call him a scumbag.

    Kaep could have told his message another way without attacking the most sacred of patriotic symbols. Certain sectors of the population who will never know what it’s like to be black or even a minority will completely ignore the message.

  39. The lie being propagated about how law enforcement is out hunting down and murdering black males is on the liberal media and leftist politicians. The issue is effectively driving a wedge along racial lines in this country. And for what? Political gain by victim creation.

    I don’t care what color you are, pull a gun on a cop and refuse to follow commands in high stress situations and it is your own fault if you are shot by a cop. Blacks may be statistically be more likely to be shot by a cop, but the gang lifestyle has to figure into that statistic. The statistical gap is not large either.

    So, in the end this issue has been politicized and weak minded people are convinced injustice exists. In reality, there is no injustice. For this reason the issue is not taken seriously by the average citizen who can think for themselves.

  40. stainlineho, having the tab makes a ranger a ranger. Do you believe those tabs are handed out to anyone who wants one? Maybe it is as easy as picking up some tabs at the PX and having them sewn on? The dude served tours in combat. You have never served anyone but yourself. It is always the scared who try and denigrate the service of American heroes. If you can’t find a way to say something good, don’t say anything at all. It makes you appear as unintelligent as you are.

  41. All these flag wavers are sickening. I bet not 3 percent of these posting have ever served in the military, and could care less about the military were it not for jumping on the bandwagon with these Kaep articles!

  42. shlort says:
    Aug 30, 2016 11:08 AM
    The lie being propagated about how law enforcement is out hunting down and murdering black males is on the liberal media and leftist politicians. The issue is effectively driving a wedge along racial lines in this country. And for what? Political gain by victim creation.

    I don’t care what color you are, pull a gun on a cop and refuse to follow commands in high stress situations and it is your own fault if you are shot by a cop. Blacks may be statistically be more likely to be shot by a cop, but the gang lifestyle has to figure into that statistic. The statistical gap is not large either.

    So, in the end this issue has been politicized and weak minded people are convinced injustice exists. In reality, there is no injustice. For this reason the issue is not taken seriously by the average citizen who can think for themselves.
    ——-
    typical racial stereotyping. this is how and why Cops profile blacks…this same lowlife mentality. It’s racist…oh there’s a black…he must be a gang member. This is what Kaep is talking about. And white america isn’t getting it!

  43. Phoenix11 says:
    Aug 30, 2016 8:26 AM

    When you decide to disrespect a flag that is symbolic of the sacrifices of soldiers it actually is about veterans.

    No one is arguing his RIGHT nor his stance, its the matter he went about it. Its akin to how All Black lives Matter takes offense to All Lives Matter…
    ——–
    All lives do matter. This is where you’re not getting it. “All lives” aren’t being hunted down and profiled by police, are they. That’s Kaep’s point, and the point of BLM.

  44. stainlineho says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:22 AM

    Just because you are Ranger qualified doesn’t make you a Ranger. You have to be in a battalion.
    ——————————————————–

    He was a Platoon Leader in the 75th Ranger Rgt. (Airborne), the 1st Ranger Battalion if IIRC.

    Use Google before criticizing; might save you some embarrassment.

    BTW- he earned a Bronze Star w/Valor Device for saving troops under fire while serving with the 10th Mountain Division prior to volunteering for Ranger’s Officer Program.

    AV served 2 tours in Iraq and one in Iraq.

    What has Kap done to help America?

  45. THis was not a stand vs. the military, rather the way that the police have blatantly been out of control nation wide. Kap’s stand is for injustice & the way the media and others have voiced their opinions on the matter, in the land of free speech, why does Kap not get to do so also? Twisted society we live in – if we do not agree, we trash. And good ole Rodney, you might want to look up Kap on ancestry.com before you act like a Sten Smith – a fool

  46. “Just because you are Ranger qualified doesn’t make you a Ranger. You have to be in a battalion.”
    __________________________

    He was awarded a bronze star for his actions in the 10th Mountain Division…..I am not sure that makes him the voice authority on this subject, but it certainly makes him a decorated Ranger so show some respect!

  47. I am a proud Mexican/America with two sons ages 17 & 21. I have made them understand that in these current times we (Mexican descent), unfortunately and most likely, will be judged by first appearances. They were fortunate that I taught them to exercise prudence in any situation. I can appreciate CK’s vehemence but would respectfully ask him to take a different approach (i.e., after-school programs in neighborhoods with high crime rates and poverty, influencing good judgment etc.)

    I’m also proud to say that my 21 year old is currently serving in the US Army and will be deployed in February 2017 for the middleEast. Proud to say he fights for our Country so that CK can have the FREEDOM to sit if he chooses to.
    God Bless!

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