Basketball Coach Buzz Williams of Virginia Tech was disappointed and frustrated with the overall state of respect among college basketball players.
For years, Coach Williams had noticed that many college players wouldn’t pay attention during the National Anthem.
As we’ve all seen, some do stand in full respect. But many don’t: they sway along with the music, others look down at the floor, others even goof off and pay no attention.
In response to the ignorance and/or disrespect displayed by many athletes today during our National Anthem, Coach Williams recently decided to stand up and speak with his players about the importance of standing at attention and showing before every game.
Coach Williams realized what was lacking was the reverent attitude due to those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy every day. Something we all need reminding of.
While he couldn’t sit down every team in the league, he knew he could make a difference with his own.
On Veteran’s Day, he showed his boys (face to face) to be respectful and to set an example for other players. The impassioned coach then had his players line up, right there in the middle of the arena, directly across from US veterans.
“These guys, when they were you age, interrupted their life, they paused their education, they changed their career, and they gave their life for those chairs,” Williams says.
“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.”
Then, side-by-side, the players and the veterans recite the National Anthem as one.
The result is not only a powerful lesson on the court, but also an important life lesson about respect.
Watch below as he teams up with some incredible Veterans to teach them, in a beautifully powerful and respectful way, what it means to appreciate freedom.
Thank you coach! Very moving. This should be shown at all high schools and colleges. The kids just aren’t aware of the sacrifices made. Nobody tells them.
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