Virginia Tech head basketball coach Buzz Williams has noticed a trend among college athletes while the National Anthem plays before games.
He has seen players swaying and generally not paying attention during the anthem, which made Williams want to teach his players how to show proper respect.
He decided to put his players face-to-face before the season started with men and women who served this country in the armed forces.
“We didn’t earn those chairs,” Williams said as he pointed to the team bench. “These guys, when they were your age, interrupted their life, they paused their education, they changed their career, and they gave their life for those chairs. So when the Anthem is played, we’re going to stand like grown men and we’re going to honor men like this, that gave their life, so we can have a chair to sit in.”
The second year Hokies coach taught the players the words of the national anthem so they would be “respectful of the words.”
After addressing his team and teaching them how to be respectful of the national anthem, Williams had his players stand alongside the emotional veterans as the anthem played.
This is not the first time Williams has taught his players to respect the national anthem. In 2014, he posted a video of him teaching his squad the importance of the anthem along with this write-up:
We put together this video with arguably one of the best live performances in the history of this song and added scenes that we all could emotionally connect with. Together we read it aloud over and over until everyone could recite it. Every time I hear this song I get choked up. I think to myself about how a country boy from a rural, American town in Texas gets paid to coach college basketball, and just how lucky I am. Every facet of my life has changed because of this game. Every game day when they play our national anthem, I stand up, I look up to the flag, put my hand over my heart and sing because to me, it is more than just lyrics.
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent