A bit less than a year into his chancellorship of the 14-campus University of Texas System, Bill McRaven sketched out his vision and mission for the system Thursday, November 5, 2015, before the Board of Regents. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

McRaven requests that athletes stand during anthem

Posted September 8th, 2016

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Bill McRaven, the chancellor of the University of Texas System, has once again asked that athletes stand during the National Anthem.

The Texas Tribune’ Matthew Watkins reported on Thursday that McRaven recently sent a memo to the presidents of the eight universities in the University of Texas System that addressed the playing of the National Anthem before sporting events. In the past month, professional athletes like San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and soccer star Megan Rapinoe have knelt during the anthem to protest racial inequalities in this country.

McRaven, who was an admiral in the Navy, wrote on Aug. 29 that “It is a flag for everyone, of every color, of every race, of every creed, and of every orientation, but the privilege of living under the flag does not come without cost. Nor should it come without respect.”  McRaven argued that sitting during the National Anthem is a sign of disrespect, but the memo does not mandate standing.

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McRaven wrote a similar memo in January. Seven months later, he reiterated his request for coaches and athletes to stand and then “face the flag and place their hand over their heart as a sign of respect to the nation.”

McRaven’s memo might be unnecessary, at least on the University of Texas’ campus during the fall. The Longhorn football team remains in the locker room while the National Anthem is played at home games.

The following document, obtained by the American-Statesman, is the memo sent by UT Chancellor Bill McRaven. 

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