Pouncey: 'We'll all be standing'

In a week during which the Steelers have sought clarification, Maurkice Pouncey has responded with a declaration.

"I promise you one thing, this week we'll all be standing out there for the national anthem, trust me," Pouncey announced today.

The Steelers visit the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The Steelers opted to stay in the tunnel to the locker room during the national anthem prior to last Sunday's game at Soldier Field in Chicago, a collective response to comments detrimental to NFL players who protest the national anthem made by the president last Friday.

The fallout since has been such that Steelers president Art Rooney II felt compelled to post a letter "To Steelers Nation" to clear up "misperception about our players' intentions.

"The intentions of Steelers players were to stay out of the business of making political statements by not taking the field," the letter explained. "Unfortunately, that was interpreted as a boycott of the anthem _ which was never our players' intention."

Pouncey described what transpired prior to the Bears game and the subsequent reaction as "a big misunderstanding.

"Trust me, this team loves this flag," Pouncey said. "We love what we represent, (offensive tackle and combat veteran) Al (Villanueva) and this whole entire organization, Mr. Rooney, trust me. We feel just as bad as everybody else does, because it's a lot on our shoulders. Trust me, we really do.

"I think this week we're going to show that. We know that we're sorry for all our fans that are upset about the things that went down. I honestly think we'll come together and all this will be totally out the window."

The Steelers prepare for the Week 4 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

Pouncey guaranteed 100 percent participation among Steelers in standing for the national anthem at M & T Bank Stadium.

"I know it's 100 percent, yes, absolutely," he said. "We love this country, man, this is America. Yeah, we know there's injustice in this world and different things. But for me, personally, football is for football and that's what we're going to approach it as.

"I tell a lot of the guys, you want to do anything in the offseason, or on Tuesdays (the players' day off), I'm fully for it. Team Pouncey will be there with you with everybody we have in our organization. We'll be there and we'll help you guys do whatever you want. But we're football players."

Pouncey maintained the Steelers intend "to go out there and do the right thing, and if someone decides not to, then they have to answer that. I'm telling you, the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to go out there and do the right thing.

"Hopefully, whenever the fans and everyone sees us out there this Sunday, that they know it was a big misunderstanding, that we really do respect our flag and that we really are going to be out there supporting and doing the right things that we're supposed to do in representing this organization."

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