An Open Letter to Allen Fieldhouse

An Open letter to Allen Fieldhouse:

Let me preface this by saying I am a huge Jayhawk basketball fan; I thrive on pump-up videos and I scream the loudest every time Cliff dunks the ball. I love the traditions of Allen Fieldhouse - they're one of the reasons I came to KU in the first place, but there is one "tradition" I just can't get behind. That one "tradition" happens to be the replacement of the word "brave" during the national anthem. 

I grew up as a military brat, and to me the phrase "Home of the Brave" stands for a lot more then just the end of the song. To me, it represents the sacrifice of our service men and women who have made it their mission to fight for our freedom in America. It means the sacrifice that my father, my grandfathers and my friends' fathers and mothers have made. They are what I consider to be "the brave." While saying the word, "Chiefs" might seem like just a fun nod to your favorite local team, it is offensive and downright disrespectful. It is disrespectful to men and women who have spent day in and day out in war zones, fighting for their lives. It is disrespectful to the children who have gone months without seeing a parent, who have spent nights awake wondering when their father or mother will come home, or whether or not their parent is safe. It is disrespectful to the wives and husbands of your nation's soldiers who worry about their well-being every night. It is disrespectful to our country. 

If you don't want to hear it from me, hear it directly from Bill Self, "That's not what needs to be done in this particular situation, especially in today's time when there's so much publicity and notoriety, rightfully so, to the men and women who sacrifice so much for our country. I think it's probably not something we should do, but from a kid's standpoint I don't think they know they are in poor taste doing it. I think it's just something we should look at and realize, 'Hey, c'mon now, let's think about this before we actually do it.'" We can do better than this, KU student section. We can make better choices, choices that represent what KU really is - what I believe KU really is. And besides, who wants to let down Bill Self?

Now I understand the response, "it's my right to say what I want," or "we are just having fun." My biggest problem with the excuse of free speech in this case is by saying "Chiefs" you are clearly disrespecting the same people who gave you "the right" of free speech. This is not some lame high school student section, we are students pursing a higher level of education; let's act like it. 

Photo Credit: ESPN