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Bucks Co. State Senator Condemns NFL in Resolution He’s Co-Sponsoring

A Bucks County state senator has entered the fray involving the Pittsburgh Steelers and the decision by most of the team not to stand for the National Anthem before their game Sunday; a decision that has resulted in a firestorm of controversy.

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A Bucks County state senator has entered the fray involving the NFL and the decision by most of the Pittsburgh Steelers not to stand for the National Anthem before their game Sunday; a decision that’s resulted in a firestorm of controversy.

State Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R-10) announced Tuesday that he will co-sponsor a Senate Resolution by Sen. Mike Regan (R-31) “condemning the National Football League for demonstrations–including one team refusing to take the field for the national anthem during their Sunday, Sept. 24 schedule.”

“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,” McIlhinney said in a news release. “The song itself only lasts about 90 seconds, but its uniting force is powerful. While many teams and players chose to demonstrate in some way, I am deeply saddened by the Steelers’ decision to boycott our anthem entirely. That decision not only disrespected those who fight for our freedom, it deprived everyone present of a badly needed unifying moment.”

“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,” he added. “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.”

McIlhinney said online jersey sales for Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva reportedly jumped after he was the only player to stand on the field during the national anthem Sunday, “demonstrating widespread public support for the actions of the former Army Ranger.”

The Senate Resolution, he said, should “help restore respect of the national anthem and military members, and encourage a more constructive approach to societal issues.”

“America, like every nation on earth, is not perfect. All decent citizens are dedicated to ensuring equal treatment in all circumstances, even though we know that our society does not always measure up to that standard. But 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.

The 10th District includes most of central Bucks County and extends as far north as Haycock Township in upper Bucks County.

In a memorandum about the resolution sent to other state Senate members Monday and shared by McIlhinney, Regan–who represents much of the Harrisburg area–also issued a rebuke to the NFL and the Steelers.

“What we witnessed throughout the NFL this weekend was not an innocuous political demonstration,” he said. “It was a deliberate, orchestrated effort to disrespect the anthem and flag of the United States of America, and it cannot go unrebuked.”

“Poisonous identity politics have politicized nearly every facet of American life, including our sacred national symbols,” he said. “Political dissent has manifested itself in acts of radical protest. Things have simply gone too far.”

What do you think of the controversy over NFL players’ refusal to stand for the National Anthem–and local, regional and national politicians’ response to it? Tell us in the comments.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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