State Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R-10) on Monday announced that he is co-sponsoring a Senate Resolution condemning the National Football League for demonstrations during football games Sunday.
“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.
“While many teams and players chose to demonstrate in some way, I am deeply saddened by the [Pittsburgh] Steelers’ decision to boycott our anthem entirely,” he continued. “That decision not only disrespected those who fight for our freedom, it deprived everyone present of a badly needed unifying moment.”
McIlhinney said that 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, which the senator attributes to “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.”
“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.
Charles T. “Chuck” McIlhinney Jr. is a Republican member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, representing the 10th District, which includes New Hope and Solebury Township, since 2007. Previously, he was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1998 through 2006 after winning election to the house in a special election in 1998.