The Navy Midshipmen football team has made the decision to change the team motto that the senior captains had agreed upon after questions arose about the motto’s sensitivity.
The previous motto was to have been “Load the clip,” as in loading a gun clip.
The new motto? It was officially changed on Friday to “Win the day.”
Reporters for the Capital Gazette had previously questioned whether the “Load the clip” motto was insensitive to victims of gun violence.
In recent years, each Navy team has picked its own motto, the newspaper reported. The motto last year was “For the Culture,” the Capital Gazette reported.
But “Load the clip” hit particularly close to the Annapolis, Maryland-based Gazette.
On June 28, 2018, a man with a shotgun entered the newsroom and killed five employees. He also injured another two.
The Gazette’s newsroom is located just a few miles away from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“It is always my priority, part of my mission statement, for the Navy to be a good neighbor,” Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean S. Buck said in a statement to the Gazette.
“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.”
As ESPN noted, the motto had been a topic of discussion during the American Athletic Conference media days in July.
“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,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “It means you have to be prepared for the fight, and that is a process that happens every day.”
“Our coaches and midshipmen realized that the direction they were headed created sensitivities that were not aligned with the original intent,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement, according to ESPN.
“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,” Gladchuk added.
“We are hopeful we can now put this behind us and ‘Win the Day.'”
In a gut-wrenching and horrific twist, Navy’s decision to change the team motto came just a day before a pair of horrific shootings rocked both Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, sparking anew the polarizing gun debate in America.
The Navy Midshipmen will open the 2019-2020 NCAA football season at home against the Holy Cross Crusaders on Aug. 31.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.