“It represents our country – that’s the basic thing!”
Few of Virginia Tech’s basketball players felt like they didn’t have to show much importance to the national anthem, and their coach wasn’t very happy about it. They didn’t stand up during the national anthem, so their coach decided to teach them a lesson by giving them an unforgetable speech.
He taught them what it means to be an American and of what importance is to salute the national flag. This speech of Coach Buzz Williams went viral very quickly by many people agreeing and supporting him on his speech.
The Coach told the players: “We didn’t earn those chairs…”, – while he was pointing to the bench.
He continued with his speech saying: “Your talent didn’t earn those chairs. How tall you are and how fast you run, how well you shoot, didn’t earn those chairs. Me drawing up a play, me recruiting real hard, me working real hard, I didn’t earn the chair. 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. Do you guys understand what I’m saying? Not us, not us. And 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.”
Williams then instructs the players to not only stand for the anthem, but also pay attention to what they are saluting and not take for granted the freedoms they have as Americans.
“And then the two-and-a-half minutes that the song is played, or somebody sings it, we’re going to stand at attention and honor these men. We’re not going to sway back and forth. We’re not messing with our shorts, we’re not messing with our jersey,” he said.
“Those two-and-a-half minutes, we’re going to give to the people who earned these chairs, because that freedom allows us to do what we’re doing.”
Williams’ speech garnered applause from people who felt it was the right way to address the controversy surrounding the national anthem.
“I don’t know the name of this coach, he is a man of [honor]. He brought me to tears, by what he said to these young men. He didn’t yell he didn’t shame them, he taught them that behind this anthem there are real men and women who have given so such for them and their country,” one reader commented on AWM.
“This lesson will stay with them for a lifetime, and just maybe they will think before they disrespect a service person ever again. Thank you sir.”
It is known that Coach Williams repeats this speech each year at the beginning of the season to make sure that anyone new that comes will know the importance of showing respect to those who “earned the chairs.”
Watch below as he teams up with some incredible Veterans to teach them, in a beautifully powerful and respectful way, what it means to appreciate freedom.
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