Steelers owner Art Rooney II sent a letter to fans Monday explaining their actions on Sunday. No apology, though. The actions of the Steelers make a little more sense when you realize something. Steelers coach Mike Tomline sponsored Hillary Clinton fundraisers.
Rooney II said, ‘The intentions of Steelers players were to stay out of the business of making political statements by not taking the field.’
Guess whose idea it was to stay in the locker room? Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who happens to be a very generous Democrat donor along with his wife Kiya. He can play off the event as much as he wants but it looks like he was clearly trying to make a political statement.
In June of 2016 a fundraiser was held for Hillary Clinton at the Tomlin house in Pittsburgh, PA.
Per The Hill:
The invitation has two contribution levels, including a “supporter” level at $10,000 per person and a “host” level of $33,400 per person that offers attendees a reception with the candidate.
Kiya Tomlin, a fashion designer, also donated $25,000 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008 and made the maximum individual donation of $2,700 to Clinton’s campaign last summer.
Here is a flyer from the fundraise event, provided by Salena Zito of the New York Post.
Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva was the lone Steeler to come out for the anthem on Sunday. He stood alone with his hand over his heart while his team was in the background.
Since this happened Villanueva has apologized for his actions and Tomlin made it clear he did not want Villanueva to do what he did.
Just so we have this straight. The Steelers wanted to avoid making a political statement by refusing to come out onto the field and acknowledge the anthem? That just doesn't make any sense. They made one of the biggest political statements of the day.