The Navy football team changed its motto for the 2019 season over concerns regarding its potential insensitivity toward gun violence.
The seniors chose "Load the Clip" for the season, but when reporters from the Capital Gazette questioned the appropriateness of the phrase, it was replaced with "Win the Day."
Both the newspaper and the U.S. Naval Academy are located in Annapolis, Md. Thirteen months ago, five newspaper employees were killed when a man opened fire in the newsroom.
"It is always my priority, part of my mission statement, for the Navy to be a good neighbor," Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean S. Buck said in a statement to the Capital Gazette.
"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."
Navy's athletic director, Chet Gladchuk, also issued a statement expressing agreement with the change.
"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.'"
Navy will open its season against Holy Cross on Aug. 31.
--Field Level Media