Annapolis, MD – The U.S. Navy college football team changed its motto for this season after reporters from The Capital Gazette questioned whether it was insensitive after the deadly shooting in its newsroom in 2018.
The seniors on the Navy team chose “Load the Clip” as the motto for the 2019 season but then changed it to “Win the Day” on Aug. 2, according to ESPN.
Jarrod Ramos shot and killed five employees of the Capital Gazette, which is located in Annapolis, on June 28, 2018.
Ramos used a shotgun to go on his killing spree, which also injured two other newspaper employees, according to ESPN.
"It is always my priority, part of my mission statement, for the Navy to be a good neighbor," Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Sean Buck said in a statement to the Capital Gazette, according to ESPN. "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," he said.
Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo had shown concern about using the “Load the Clip” motto at the American Athletic Conference media days in July.
"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," Niumatalolo said. "It means you have to be prepared for the fight, and that is a process that happens every day."
Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said he was in favor to change the motto to “Win the Day.”
"Our coaches and midshipmen realized that the direction they were headed created sensitivities that were not aligned with the original intent," Gladchuk said in a statement, according to ESPN. "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.'"