There were two mass shootings in America this weekend, a tragic and infuriating fact of life in America in 2019. So common are they that it’s possible — even likely — you’ve forgotten about the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper, where on June 28, 2018 a madman walked into Annapolis, Md.’s daily newspaper and killed five employees with a shotgun.
The memory of that shooting appeared to have slipped even those living across town. The Naval Academy has apologized for the football team’s “inappropriate and insensitive” team motto for the upcoming season.
“The bottom line is, we missed the mark here,” Vice Admiral Sean Buck said in a statement. “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.”
Ironically, the news was first broken by the Capital Gazette itself.
Like many teams across the sport, Navy entrusts a group of senior leaders to select the slogan for each season. Naval Academy spokesperson Alana Garas said the slogan was meant to stand for “consistent, daily work ethic in preparation for game day” and was completely unrelated to the shooting.
Once the dual meaning of the phrase dawned on those inside the Academy, the phrase was immediately scrapped.
“Corrective measures were taken immediately and on behalf of the team at large, our sincerest apologies to anyone who was offended,” Navy AD Chet Gladchuk said in a statement. “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.”