(BUCKS COUNTY, PA) – State Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R-10) today announced that he is co-sponsoring a Senate Resolution condemning the National Football League for demonstrations – including one team refusing to take the field for the national anthem during their Sunday, September 24th schedule.
“Sports has traditionally been a setting where Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs would come together, set differences aside, and stand as one for our national anthem,” said McIlhinney. “The song itself only lasts about 90 seconds, but its uniting force is powerful. While many teams and players chose to demonstrate in some way, I am deeply saddened by the Steelers’ decision to boycott our anthem entirely. That decision not only disrespected those who fight for our freedom, it deprived everyone present of a badly needed unifying moment.”
McIlhinney noted that, according to reports, online jersey sales for Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva jumped after he was the only player to leave the tunnel and stand on the field during the national anthem on Sunday, demonstrating widespread public support for the actions of the former Army Ranger.
“The state taxpayers who helped pay for the Steelers’ stadium have every right to be upset that the team chose to boycott our national anthem,” said McIlhinney. “Many of them are military families with loved ones who put the ‘brave’ in ‘home of the brave.’ Many others can’t afford season tickets to the well-appointed stadium they helped to pay for. To turn on the TV and witness such a short-sighted act is a slap in their face.”
Senator McIlhinney said he hopes the Senate Resolution will help restore respect of the national anthem and military members, and encourage a more constructive approach to societal issues.
“America, like every nation on earth, is not perfect. All decent citizens are dedicated to ensuring equal treatment in all circumstances, even though we know that our society does not always measure up to that standard. But engaging in such a divisive act only makes it that much harder to bring people together to achieve the goal of freedom and liberty for all,” McIlhinney said.
CONTACT: Heather Cevasco 215-489-5000