Basketball Coach Buzz Williams of Virginia Tech was disappointed with what he saw when the National Anthem was played before college basketball games. He couldn’t control what other schools did, but he could control his own.
During practice one day, as the chairs were being set up along the court, he talked to his athletes. He did so as a group of veterans came and stood in front of the chairs.
The following is what he told the students.
“We didn’t earn those chairs. Your talent didn’t earn those chairs. How tall you are; how fast you run and how well you shoot didn’t earn those chairs.
We work real hard. We recruit real hard. I didn’t earn the chair.
These guys when they were your age interrupted their lives. They paused their education. They changed their career. And they give their life for those chairs.
You guys understand what I’m sayin? Not us.
So when the anthem is played, we’re going to stand like grown men. And we’re going to honor men like this that gave their life so we can have a chair to sit in.
And in that 2 ½ minutes this song is played, and somebody sings it or the music is played, we’re going to stand at attention and honor these men. And we’re not going to sway back and forth. We’re not messing with our shorts or messing with our jersey. Those 2 ½ minutes we’re going to give to the people these chairs because that freedom allows us to do what we’re doing. I don’t care if you sing. But I want you to know the words. And I want you to be respectful of the words. Because those words represent peoples lives. And when we stand, we’re going to put our right hand over our heart and our left hand behind our back. And we’re not moving. And we’re not looking down. We’re not swaying. We’re standing still with perfect body language. And all that we’re thinking about is these men who earned the right for these chairs to be here.”
So, this month I APPLAUD Coach Buzz Williams.
You’ve taught these young men a valuable lesson. One that should be taught more often.