The Navy football team’s 2019 motto, “Load the Clip,” is no more after reporters from the Capital Gazette pointed out that the slogan might be insensitive.
A mass killing took place at the Gazette’s Annapolis, Maryland, headquarters in 2018 after a gunman opened fire on a newsroom. Five employees lost their lives as a result of the attack, which also injured several other people.
What did the Navy say about the change?
Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean S. Buck told the Gazette that the motto selection “missed the mark.”
“It is always my priority, part of my mission statement, for the Navy to be a good neighbor,” Buck said. “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.”
On Friday, Navy’s seniors replaced “Load the Clip” with “Win the Day.”
In June, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said that the slogan was akin to one that might be used by those going into battle.
“Clearly it’s a metaphor that speaks to the fact we’re going to battle every weekend, and when you go to battle, you need to have enough ammunition,” he explained. “It means you have to be prepared for the fight, and that is a process that happens every day.”
Chet Gladchuk, Navy athletic director, expressed his gratitude for the team’s decision to swap out the motto.
“Our coaches and midshipmen realized that the direction they were headed created sensitivities that were not aligned with the original intent,” he said. “Corrective measures were taken immediately, and on behalf of the team at large, our sincerest apologies to anyone who was offended. It was a lesson learned and it’s important that everything we do at the Naval Academy represents not only appropriate action, but assumed responsibility. We are hopeful we can now put this behind us and ‘Win the Day.'”