UT Chancellor McRaven: Coaches, Players Should Respect Flag
As Jimmy Kimmel put it so succinctly during a taping of his ABC-TV late night show when retired Admiral Bill McRaven was in attendance, this is not your ordinary college chancellor. And not because he hung out with Bono.
How many college deans do you know commanded the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden, as the University of Texas System as Chancellor McRaven did? I thought so.
When McRaven speaks about issues, people listen. When he recently sent out two memos on the National Anthem being played during athletic events, he was as serious as you'd expect.
Last January, McRaven brought up the issue for the first time in a memo:
...last January I sent out a letter asking you to encourage your coaching staff and your players to stand up straight when the National Anthem was played...I made it clear that honoring the flag does not imply that the republic for which it stands is perfect. I said 'Far from it, honoring the flag is our collective commitment that we will constantly attempt to get better as a nation, to improve as a people, and to use the freedoms that we have been given to make the earth a better place.'
In his follow-up memo, dated August 29 and sent after the Colin Kaepernick brou-ha-ha, McRaven doubled down.
I spent 37 years defending freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Nothing is more important to this democracy. Nothing! However, while no one should be compelled to stand...sitting in protest to the flag they are disrespecting everyone who sacrificed...
You can read the McRaven Memo in it's entirety by clicking here.
My two cents: listen to the man. He's earned that courtesy. And not just because he hangs around with rock stars and Presidents.
Here's McRaven on Jimmy Kimmel Live:
Here's President Obama's tribute to McRaven on his retirement: