While rocker Vince Neil had been scheduled to perform the anthem before the Steelers' game against the Miami Dolphins, Rooney said poor weather conditions prompted the decision to omit the traditional performance, the Pittsburgh Post-Tribune reported Wednesday.
"Our guys were going to send the singer out to sing immediately after they were sending the teams back on (the field)," Rooney said of Monday's game. "I said, 'Well, wait, because there's nobody in the stands. There's no sense in singing it when everybody's standing in the concourse.' So they waited, and the league and the network said, 'Well, now we don't have a window.'"
A Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman said that despite the rainy conditions at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, the anthem should have taken place.
"They should have still sung the national anthem because that's what we do in America, regardless of network air time," spokesman Joe Davis told the newspaper. "I'm sure a lesson has been learned and it won't happen again, and that's the most we can ever ask."