By Todd Starnes
To say the East Carolina University Marching Band struck a wrong chord with fans would be an understatement.
Furious North Carolina football fans booed the band after several members refused to play the National Anthem – while others took a knee.
East Carolina’s blatant disrespect of the Star-Spangled Banner happened Oct. 1st at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Local reports indicate about a dozen members of the Marching Pirates disgraced themselves on the football field.
At halftime – outraged fans got to have their say.
The stadium was filled with booing as the band prepared to perform its halftime show.
The ECU Band was boo’ed loudly during halftime of today’s game. pic.twitter.com/iA2T21XDwd
— Pirate Radio (@pirateradio1250) October 1, 2016
“I am ashamed of this school for letting the band do this,” one irate reader posted on the university’s Facebook page. “Shame ECU, shame!”
“What are you teaching these kids,” one parent asked. “I believe the students have the right to protest but not on that field in uniform.”
And another reader offered this suggestion: “What if those of us who write checks to the university stop sending them as our way of using our voice?”
If the children have a First Amendment right to desecrate our national anthem, certainly the American taxpayers have rights to not fund their anti-American horseplay.
ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton released a statement defending the marching band’s disgraceful actions.
“While we acknowledge and understand the disappointment felt by many Pirate fans in response to the events at the beginning of today’s football game, we urge all Pirate students, supporters and participants to act with respect for each other’s views,” the chancellor wrote.
He also affirmed “the rights of our students, staff and faculty to express their personal views.”
So what would have happened if the marching band had formed the words “All Lives Matter” on the football field? Or “Make America Great Again”? Would that have been permissible?
“Civil discourse is an East Carolina value and part of our ECU creed,” he wrote. “We are proud that recent campus conversations on difficult issues have been constructive, meaningful exchanges that helped grow new understanding among our campus community.”
What about disrespecting Old glory and the national anthem and our brave military personnel? Is that part of ECU’s values and creed?
Kiernan Shanahan, a Raleigh attorney and member of the ECU board of trustees, told me he was shocked and appalled.
“The strong boos from the crowd when they realized what was happening certainly echoed the sentiment of the board,” Mr. Shanahan told me. “It was unfortunate and poor judgement for these few band members to disrespect our country, to take advantage of the uniforms they were wearing as ECU Pirate band members – to advance a personal agenda.”
It’s just too bad the chancellor’s statement did not reflect the outrage from most of the community.
“We foster and encourage free speech but that has to be tempered by time, place and circumstances,” Mr. Shanahan said. “It was not the right time, place and (it was) the incorrect manner for these students to articulate personal dissent. It reflected poorly on the band.”
I feel bad for the folks there in the Carolinas because their taxpayer-funded university has been infested with a bunch of left-wing educators spewing this nonsense. Here’s a list of email addresses for the university’s board of trustees.
Perhaps one of the grownups in charge could muster the courage to tell the marching band to take its anti-American propaganda and blow it out their woodwinds.