By Mahita Gajanan
September 25, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva has become the NFL’s top-selling player, as sales of his jersey jumped to rank number one over other players in the league Monday.

Steelers jerseys with Villanueva’s name and number 78 took the top spots at both the NFL Shop and Fanatics, which operates the NFL’s online store. ESPN reports that at Fanatics, more gear with Villanueva’s name and number had been ordered more than gear of any other player.

Both online shops had Villanueva’s jersey in stock in men’s and women’s sizes.

Sales of Villanueva gear soared Monday after the offensive lineman was spotted standing with his hand over his heart during the national anthem before the Steelers played the Chicago Bears on Sunday. More than 200 NFL players kneeled or sat during the national anthems on Sunday in solidarity with players who have done so to protest police brutality, after President Trump controversially called for those who don’t stand during the anthem to be fired.

Villanueva, an army veteran, was the only member of the Steelers to come out during the national anthem — the rest of the team stayed in the locker room, following a decision by head coach Mike Tomlin who said he did not want his players to feel forced to choose sides.

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