Prior to Saturday’s Armed Forces Bowl matchup between the Army football program and San Diego State, the Black Knights were absent from the field for the national anthem.
Due to the conversation regarding protests during the anthem throughout 2017, there were many questions about why the team remained in the locker room — especially since it was a service academy.
However, according to head coach Jeff Monken, it had nothing to do with a protest of any kind.
Instead, it was a simple logistics issue.
The Black Knights simply mismanaged their time prior to kickoff and were unable to leave the locker room on time for the pre-game ceremony. Monken apologized during his halftime interview on ESPN.
“I want to apologize, I’m most embarrassed for not being out here for the national anthem,” Monken said.
“They had a five minute push, we didn’t realize it watching the clock. I want to apologize to all the soldiers, sailors and airmen out there. We had no intention of missing the national anthem. That’s bothered me since we started the game.”
You can watch Monken’s comments below:
The good news for Army is that the mismanaged time didn’t lead to any major distraction to the team.
The Black Knights escaped Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas with a thrilling 42-35 win thanks to a successful two-point conversion in the final seconds of the game.