Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams was “fed up” with the way some of his players were acting while the National Anthem was sung or played before games, so he made them come to the court early one Saturday morning last fall to teach them a powerful lesson.
William had his players stand face-to-face with a group of veterans as he explained why everyone should stand at attention and show respect during the National Anthem.
“These guys, when they were your age, interrupted their life, they paused their education, they changed their career, and they gave their life,” Williams said. “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 could have a chair to sit in.”
“Those two and a half minutes we’re going to give to the people that earned these chairs,” Williams said about a row of chairs set up behind the veterans. “Because that freedom allowed us to do what we’re doing.”
“I don’t care if you sing,” he continued. “But I want you to know the words, and I want you to be respectful of the words, because those words represent people’s lives.”
The video, which was originally published last year on Veteran’s Day, has recently resurfaced in the wake of the recent controversy surrounding 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest the National Anthem. On Saturday, Kaepernick went to Oakland’s Castlemont High School to encourage their football team to lie down on the field with their hands in the air while the national anthem was played.