One day after Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva was the only player on his team to participate outside the tunnel during Sunday's national anthem, Villanueva's jersey has become the highest-selling among all NFL players, according to an ESPN report.
Fanatics, which runs the NFL's online store, confirmed midday Monday, Sept. 25, that over the past 24 hours, more Villanueva gear, including jerseys and name and number T-shirts, has been ordered than that of any other NFL player. Villanueva surpassed jersey sales of players such as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, among others.
Villanueva is a former Army Ranger who earned a Bronze Star and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan prior to signing with the Steelers.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was critical of Villanueva's decision to be the only player not to stay in the tunnel during the national anthem. "I was looking for 100 percent participation," Tomlin said. "We were gonna be respectful of our football team."
The Steelers lost 23-17 to the Chicago Bears in overtime on Sunday, Sept. 24.