A basketball coach at Virginia Tech noticed that some of his players were sitting during the national anthem. He delivered a speech that they will never forget (video below).
Coach Buzz Williams’ message about the importance of the national anthem instantly went viral after it was released. It was a powerful and touching examination of what it means to be an American and salute the flag.
“We didn’t earn those seats,” Williams tells his team, gesturing to the bench.
Your abilities did not get you those seats. Those chairs were not handed to you because of your height, speed, or shooting ability. I didn’t obtain the chair despite writing a play, working hard to get performers, and working hard. They messed up their lives when they were your age. They dropped out of school. They changed their work, and they died as a result of those chairs. Do you understand what I’m saying? We’re not going to do it. So, when the national anthem plays, we’ll stand up like men and commemorate heroes like these who sacrificed their lives so we may sit.
“Then, for the two and a half minutes while the song is played or someone sings it, we will stand to honor these guys.” We’re not going to go from side to side. “We’re not messing with our shorts or our jersey,” he declared.
“We’re going to give the individuals who earned these chairs those two and a half minutes because it allows us the flexibility to do what we’re doing.”
People applauded Williams’ speech because they believed it was the proper way to address the national anthem controversy.
“I don’t know what his name is, but he’s a man of honor.” I was moved to tears by what he said to these young men. “He didn’t yell at them or make them feel bad,” one AWM reader said. Instead, he taught them that genuine individuals had sacrificed a great deal for them. This song is inspired by their nation.”
“They will remember this lesson for the rest of their lives, and perhaps they will never mistreat a service member again.” Thank you very much, sir.”
According to the Washington Post, Williams does this every season to encourage people to respect those who have “earned the chairs.” He stated that this is not in response to any national anthem protests that may or may not be taking place around the world.
Watch how he works with some incredible Veterans to teach them, in a strong and courteous manner, what it means to value freedom.
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