Steelers’ President Art Rooney II penned a panicked letter to Steelers fans after the team didn’t show up to the field during the National Anthem before a game on Sunday.
Rooney was responding to the scores of Steelers’ fans posting videos on YouTube of them burning their Steelers gear and vowing never to support the team ever again.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 26, 2017
“The intentions of Steelers players were to stay out of the business of making political statements by not taking the field,” wrote Rooney.
“Unfortunately, that was interpreted as boycott of the anthem – which was never our players’ intention.”
“I also know that our players have tremendous respect for the members of our military services, including their teammate Alejandro Villanueva. There was never any desire on the part of our players to show disrespect for our service members,” he added.
Rooney’s conciliatory remarks are at odds with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin who indicated that he would’ve preferred if Villanueva – a veteran and the only Steelers player who emerged to the field to stand for the National Anthem – sat it out with the rest of the team.
Between the many irate fans who have sworn off the NFL in light of their disrespectful conduct and the declining viewership, the NFL and its executives are resorting to damage control to recover public support.
Just today, the NFL has begun the search for a new “Crisis Communications Strategist” to “devise strategy and long term vision to strategically position the NFL to key audiences” through various traditional and “emerging” media.
In other words, they need an experienced operator to fix the PR nightmare the NFL ignited when they thumbed their noses at Trump and got tangled in leftist political stunts that target America through the Flag and National Anthem.