The Adelphi University lacrosse team has been taking the field to audio of a Donald Trump campaign speech.
A video published by Barstool Sports depicts the Panthers taking the field for a game played at the school’s Garden City campus this season waving an American flag while excerpts of the speech were broadcast over the loudspeakers.
Last year when young children in Texas knelt for the national anthem, they received death threats and had their season suspended for bringing politics into amateur sports. According to Adelphi, the lacrosse team is free to use Trump’s speech as an intro.
“The men’s lacrosse team’s regular season pre-game warm-up music is selected as a team and approved for use so long as they do not contain vulgarity or inappropriate subject matter,” the school said in a statement. “The songs they proposed and used this season meet those guidelines. As such, we are obliged to follow the policy.”
An opposing coach contacted by the News said Adelphi has been coming out to the Trump soundtrack since at least April, but declined to comment further.
Adelphi recently hosted home games against LeMoyne, NYIT and Pace. The Panthers are set to host Pace again in an NCAA tournament game Saturday.
The video surfaces at a time when athletes like Colin Kaepernick and those 11- and 12-year old boys in Texas were vilified for making political statements. Kaepernick led the anthem protests last season in the NFL and many believe he is still not signed because he brought politics into the sports arena.
But what about a college lacrosse team doing the same thing? Aren’t both sides allowed to exercise their freedom of speech? Or is a college team using politics, and the highly polarizing president, to get excited for a game out of bounds?
When Adelphi comes out before games, the Trump speech, mixed with music, can be heard over the sound system:
“In all of our cities and in all of our towns, I make this promise: We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again! God bless you and good night. I love you!”
The video immediately went viral. It was viewed more than 400,000 times in the first two hours it was live Wednesday.
Lacrosse is a sport that’s been criticized for being too white, too Northeastern private school, in the past. The stereotypical “lax bro” is viewed as an insult by many in and around the sport, which has transcended social and racial lines over the last few years. The sport’s wealthy, whiteness was used against it during the Duke lacrosse rape scandal, which turned out to be a terrible lie.
When Patriots receiver Chris Hogan, a former lacrosse player at Penn State, made national headlines for his heroics in the AFC Championship Game, NFL Network parodied lax bro culture in a mocking segment meant to introduce the football audience to lacrosse.
The Trump speech, judging by the many comments on the Instagram video, rubbed some the wrong way, mostly for bringing politics into an amateur sporting event. It is far from the worst behavior among the lacrosse crowd, which should not be judged by the actions of a few of its members including social activists and Native Americans Lyle Thompson and Bill O’Brien, who demonstrated against Trump and the Dakota Access Pipeline last year.
Last week, members of the Western New England University women’s lacrosse team posted images on Instagram in bad taste that were racially insensitive.
“Dear Mr. Trump. glad you didn’t build that wall JUST YET. Happy Mexican St. Paddys day from our honorary Amigos to yours,” reads the caption of a photo of Rachel Canning and her lacrosse teammates celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
A teammate posted a similar picture, captioning it, “Build that wall #wnelax.”