Over the weekend, members of the ECU marching band decided to join the growing national protest to end social inequality by kneeling during the national anthem. Some band members played while kneeling, while others kneeled and did not play at all.
The marching band was booed when they returned to the field for the halftime show.
Now, ECU has decided protests will no longer be tolerated.
ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton says he spoke with members of the band regarding the situation.
Despite making a powerful, non-violent statement that didn’t harm a single person in the stadium, the university decided “protests of this nature by the Marching Pirates will not be tolerated moving forward.”
Dr. William Staub, director of Athletic Bands; Chris Ulffers, director of the School of Music; and Dr. Chris Buddo, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, released the statement below, via WNCN:
We regret the actions taken by 19 members of the East Carolina University Marching Pirates on game day October 1st felt hurtful to many in our Pirate family and disrespectful to our country. We understand and respect this is an issue where emotions are strong.
The Marching Pirates continue to be fully supportive of all the values the East Carolina University community holds dear.
We have met with the band and the members have collectively reaffirmed their commitment to the unique privilege and responsibility that comes with wearing the uniform of the Marching Pirates.
College is about learning, and it is our expectation that the members of the Marching Pirates will learn from this experience and fulfill their responsibilities. While we affirm the right of all our students to express their opinions, protests of this nature by the Marching Pirates will not be tolerated moving forward.
It is our hope that together we can move past these events and that the Marching Pirates will be part of the healing process, working as one Pirate Nation.
What do you think of the original statement from ECU band members and what do you think about ECU’s decision to ban further protests? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts.
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