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Art Rooney on anthem: I don’t think there is a way to satisfy everyone

Josh Alper

When asked about what would constitute not showing respect during the playing of the national anthem, Steelers owner Art Rooney said on Wednesday that he thought things we’ve seen in the past like raising a fist and linking arms with others would qualify.

Rooney clarified that comment on Thursday, saying, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, that he doesn’t view linking arms, which often included other team owners last year, as a sign of disrespect. On the larger question of disrespect, Rooney said that he thinks “standing at attention is not hard to figure out” despite not being spelled out in detail by the league on Wednesday.

Rooney described the league’s solution to the anthem issue as an attempt to strike a balance on a divisive issue. The response to that solution over the last two days makes it hard to argue with another of Rooney’s comments on Thursday.

“I don’t think there is a way to satisfy everyone,” Rooney said.

Rooney went on to say that he does not expect the issue to be a problem for the Steelers this year. The Steelers did not have anyone take a knee last season, but did wind up in the middle of the story when the majority of the team remained in the locker room for the anthem before a September game while left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who served in the United States Army, was standing by himself just outside of the tunnel.