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US Army team removes motto because of ties to white supremacist groups

07:10  08 december  2019
07:10  08 december  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Army defensive back Caleb McNeill carries the flag of France onto the field before an NCAA college football game against Tulane, in West Point, NY The U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team is changing its motto after learning of its ties to white supremacist groups , a spokesman said.

Army dropped motto of white supremacist origin. The Army football program removed a slogan from merchandise and a team flag earlier this year after administrators were told the An expert on far-right hate groups from the Anti-Defamation League said the GFBD phrase -- an omerta used to

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team is changing its motto after learning of its ties to white supremacist groups, a spokesman said.

a group of people flying kites in a field: Image: Caleb McNeill© Mike Groll Image: Caleb McNeill

Since the mid-1990s, the Army Black Knights used a skull-and-crossbones flag with the letters "G.F.B.D." — for God Forgives, Brothers Don't — written on the skull's lips.

But a few months ago, the football program removed the acronym from the flag and merchandise after administrators were told in September that it's linked to the Aryan Brotherhood and motorcycle gangs, according to ESPN.

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

  Army ditched a team slogan after discovering it had white supremacist origins Army ditched a team slogan after discovering it had white supremacist origins . © Provided by Yahoo! Sports 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 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.

The Army football program removed a slogan from merchandise and a team flag earlier this year after administrators were told the phrase originated with white supremacist gangs. For the past several years, the Black Knights have taken the field for each of their games flying a pair of banners: the

A two-month probe concluded that the phrase’s use by the Black Knights was “benign,” per ESPN, and that the former cadet who first introduced it to the football program said he was unaware of its link to white supremacist groups . “GFBD” reportedly began to be used by Army players in the mid-1990s

In a statement to NBC News, a West Point spokesman said the football program was initially unaware that the acronym and saying were "associated with extremist groups."

"The motto was originally used to emphasize teamwork, loyalty, and toughness," the statement said. "The academy immediately discontinued using it upon notification of its tie to hate groups."

According to the Anti-Defamation League, one of the most popular sayings used by the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is "God Forgives, Brothers Don't." The group is one of the largest and most violent white supremacist prison gangs in the country, according to the ADL.

The military academy's superintendent, Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, said in a statement that the team's use of "G.F.B.D." was "in no way related to a radical hate group or any similar group."

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Army ’s football team is looking for a new slogan now that West Point officials have found the team ’s most recent one had its roots in white supremacy . The players got the motto from the movie “Stone Cold,” where it was used in the film by a white supremacist biker gang — something West Point

The Army Black Knights football team has dropped its "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" slogan and the accompanying black skull-and-crossbones flag after an internal investigation into the origins of the saying revealed ties to white supremacist It's now been removed permanently following the probe.

"The U.S. Military Academy is fully committed to developing leaders of character who embody the Army values," Williams said. "Ideology, actions, and associations of hate groups directly conflict with our values and have no place at this institution."

Williams told ESPN the incident was "embarrassing." and he immediately asked for an investigation upon learning about the slogan's origin.

"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," he told the outlet.

West Point's athletic director, Mike Buddie, told ESPN that a group of players on the football team adopted the slogan after seeing it in the movie "Stone Cold," which stars former NFL star Brian Bosworth as a police officer who infiltrates a fictitious Mississippi biker gang called The Brotherhood.

Academy investigators spoke to the former West Point cadet who introduced the slogan, and he said he did not know of its ties to white supremacy groups, Buddie told the outlet.

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