Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Vince Williams doesn’t care if fans don’t like players protesting the national anthem. In fact, he told fans who burned their Steelers gear, not to bother coming back.
During the Steelers Week 3 game against the Chicago Bears at the end of September, the team seriously botched its response to President Donald Trump’s criticism of the NFL for continuing to allow the national anthem protests.
Whatever message the team ultimately meant to convey seemed to get lost in the controversy it spawned. The Steelers had vowed to stay in the locker room during the playing of the nation’s song, but one player, offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, came out on the field, anyway, hand over heart in respect for country and flag.
Villanueva’s move infuriated coach Mike Tomlin and the next day Tomlin forced the player to come out and apologize for “unintentionally” taking the field to honor the anthem and for “embarrassing” the team.
To those fans, the Steelers’ Vince Williams apparently says good riddance.
Last Sunday, Williams jumped to his Twitter account to send a message to fans who burned their gear: “If you burned your s**t, don’t buy it back #bandwagonclosed.”
If you burned your shit, don't buy it back #Bandwagonclosed
— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) October 1, 2017
Still, the message from the fans may have been louder than the player’s post-game taunt.
For Week 4, the whole team stood on the field for the national anthem.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.