Heading into the 2019 season, Navy football has changed its team motto after the previous one was deemed “insensitive” to mass shooting victims.
The school announced yesterday that instead of sticking with “Load the Clip” as the team slogan for 2019, the Midshipmen will instead roll with “Win the Day.” Team captains had originally chosen “Load the Clip” but came up with the new motto after backlash.
According to The Capital Gazette, Navy officials elected drop the initial phrase after being questioned by Capital Gazette reporters 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, five Capital Gazette employees were killed by a gunman who entered the newsroom. In September 2018, three people were shot and three others wounded at a Rite-Aid in Aberdeen, about an hour away from Navy’s campus.
“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.”
Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo mentions in the article linked above, the motto is inspired by the players’ life in the military and is a “metaphor” that means “we’re going to battle every weekend.”
There was no ill intent in mind when the Navy captains came up with the “Load the Clip,” but no harm, no foul now that it has been changed either.