Army ditched a team slogan after discovering it had white supremacist origins

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read
12 December 2015: The Army Black Knights flag waves proudly in front if the stands filled with cadets during the NCAA football game between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The flag that was discontinued at Army this season. The skull has the acronym for "God forgives, brothers don't" above its teeth. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Army football team stopped using a team slogan after it learned the phrase had white supremacist origins.

The team had been using the “God forgives, brothers don’t” slogan and even had the acronym of the phrase on a flag that it carried out onto the field before games. But it quietly stopped using the slogan and flag after finding it had connection to the Aryan Brotherhood.

From ESPN:

Athletic director Mike Buddie said head football coach Jeff Monken addressed the team in September after learning about the phrase's roots and told them it would immediately be removed from the program. According to Buddie, Monken was "mortified" and planned to use the entire instance as a "teaching moment" for his players.

"It's embarrassing, quite frankly," said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy. "... We take stuff like this very, very seriously. Once I found out about this goofiness, I asked one of our most senior colonels to investigate."

School found no ill-intent in phrase’s initial adoption

The investigation that Williams referenced didn’t find any malicious intent in the phrase’s usage by the team, according to ESPN’s report. The slogan had initially been adopted after a group of past players had watched the Brian Bosworth movie "Stone Cold” and heard the phrase.

Yes, really. This has to do with a legendary 1991 Brian Bosworth film. The movie, which has stellar reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, involves the former Oklahoma linebacker and 1980s legend as an FBI agent who infiltrates a biker gang that displays white supremacist paraphernalia.

The phrase hadn’t been used as a slogan until Monken and his staff found the flag after they were hired in 2014 and put it back in use.

Army, 5-7, has one more game in 2019. It plays Navy on Dec. 14.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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