As Twitchy told you earlier, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was upset with offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva for breaking with the rest of his team at yesterday’s came and taking the field to stand for the National Anthem. Villanueva’s gesture may not have been a hit with his coach, but many other Americans gained a great deal of respect for him.

This afternoon, Villaneuva stepped up to the podium to address the controversy — and take one for the team:

Sadly, Villanueva apparently felt compelled to apologize for his show of patriotic respect:

With all due respect, Mr. Villanueva, you have nothing to be embarrassed about.

The fact that a simple gesture of patriotism has turned into such a headache for Villanueva and the Steelers says a lot about the state of the political discourse in this country.

He certainly didn’t.

If that’s indeed the case, then he’s even more of a stand-up guy than we thought. And he deserves so much better than this.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional text and tweets.