The Naval Academy superintendent announced Friday that “Load the Clip” has been dropped as this year’s football team motto, calling it “insensitive” to those affected by the mass shooting in Annapolis last year.
Chosen by senior captain football players for the 2019-2020 season, the motto was changed after reporters from The Capital asked Navy officials about it in the context of a national wave of mass shootings and the attack that killed five people just a few miles from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
On June 28, 2018, a man with a shotgun entered the Capital Gazette newsroom and killed five employees: Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith. That same year, in September, three people were killed and three wounded at an Aberdeen Rite-Aid — about 60 miles from Annapolis — before the gunman killed herself.
“It is always my priority, part of my mission statement, for the Navy to be a good neighbor,” Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Sean S. Buck said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
“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.” (Read more from “Navy Football Drops Team Motto Deemed ‘Insensitive’” HERE)