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Navy football has dropped its team motto because it's 'insensitive' to mass shooting victims
The Naval Academy superintendent announced Friday that "Load the Clip" has been dropped as this year's football team motto, calling it "insensitive" to those affected by the mass shooting in Annapolis last year.
Chosen by senior captain football players for the 2019-2020 season, the motto was changed after reporters from The Capital asked Navy officials about it in the context of a national wave of mass shootings and the attack that killed five people just a few miles from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
On June 28, 2018, a man with a shotgun entered the Capital Gazette newsroom and killed five employees: Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith. That same year, in September, three people were killed and three wounded at an Aberdeen Rite-Aid — about 60 miles from Annapolis — before the gunman killed herself.
"It is always my priority, part of my mission statement, for the Navy to be a good neighbor," Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Sean S. Buck said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
"The bottom line is, we missed the mark here. The initial internal football team motto selected, 'Load the Clip,' was inappropriate and insensitive to the community we call home, and for that, I take responsibility for, and apologize to not only the Capital Gazette, but the entire Annapolis community."
The new motto will be "Win the Day."
The motto was first reported Thursday afternoon by The Capital.
It's been tradition the past several years for team captains to select the motto, an internal slogan used by the players to motivate themselves. Last year's was "For the Culture" and in 2016 it was "We Will" in honor of Will McKamey, who died three days after losing consciousness during a spring practice.
The phrase "Load the Clip" was intended to be a metaphor for daily game day preparation, said Cmdr. Alana Garas, Naval Academy spokeswoman.
In an interview last month with The Capital during the American Athletic Conference Football Media Day, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said he was "leery" of the slogan but also understood the players' relationship with firearms as members of the military.
"Clearly it's a metaphor that speaks to the fact we're going to battle every weekend and when you go to battle you need to have enough ammunition," Niumatalolo said. "It means you have to be prepared for the fight and that is a process that happens every day."
Upon learning the motto may be insensitive, the team captains met and proposed the new motto "Win the Day."
"Our coaches and midshipmen realized that the direction they were headed created sensitivities that were not aligned with the original intent," Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk said in a statement.
"Corrective measures were taken immediately and on behalf of the team at large, our sincerest apologies to anyone who was offended. It was a lesson learned and it's important that everything we do at the Naval Academy represents not only appropriate action, but assumed responsibility. We are hopeful we can now put this behind us and 'Win the Day.' "
The change comes one day before before Saturday's annual Navy Football Fan Fest and Media Day at the stadium.
Navy players will sign autographs from 10 to 11 a.m., before meeting fans on the field and taking photos until noon.
©2019 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
‘That cavalier misdirection cannot stand’ — Washingtonians ask judge to reduce ‘extremely noisy’ Navy Growler flights
The Citizens of Ebey's Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.
COER and private citizen Paula Spina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.
According to the motion, since March 2019 the Navy has increased the number of Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and shifted most of its Growler operations to Outlying Field Coupeville, which is near the Reserve and the town of Coupeville.
"The result is a nearly fourfold increase in Growler flights in that area. Now the overflights subject residents in and near Coupeville to extreme noise for several hours of the day, day and night, many days of the week," said the court document.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
A 26-year-old man died after he failed to surface from waters off Molokai while participating in a scuba diving tour over the weekend.
He has been identified as Duane Harold Parsley II and was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, according to the Maui Police Department.
LOS ANGELES — For decades, Japanese American activists have marked Feb. 19 as a day to reflect on one of the darkest chapters in this nation's history.
On that date in 1942, during World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the forced removal of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent from their homes and businesses.
On Thursday, the California Assembly will do more than just remember.
‘Take what’s inside and get it outside’ — Air Force psychologist reminds airmen of mental health resources
Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.
Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.
"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.
Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."