The U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy met for their annual gridiron classic on Saturday in the aptly named “Army-Navy Game.” While eyes are normally fixated on the athletes and their performance, the 118th meeting between the two military academies saw attention turn to the national anthem ceremony that took place before the opening kickoff.
Amid an angelic snowfall at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, the choirs of each academy joined in singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” The Daily Caller reported.
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As the choirs sang in unison, not one player for Army or Navy sat or knelt, a stark contrast to the behaviors being displayed in the NFL.
Many on Twitter praised the magnificent performance, while some used the moment to call-out NFL players who have chosen to kneel or sit during the national anthem ceremony to protest perceived injustice against black Americans.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., also expressed his gratitude for the display in a Tweet.
“This is how it’s done! The National Anthem at yesterday’s Army-Navy Game will give you chills,” Cruz wrote Sunday.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, also joined in praising the performance put on by both academies.
“An awesome national anthem at yesterday’s #ArmyNavy game. Congratulations to Army on a great game — as a Navy veteran I’m proud of both teams,” Scott wrote Sunday.
Army went on to win the contest 14-13 after a 48-yard field goal attempt by Navy went awry in the final seconds of the game.
The victory was extra special for Army, as they secured their rights to the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, according to CBS Sports.
Three of the five U.S. service academies compete for the trophy: the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy. For over two decades the trophy continuously exchanged hands between Navy and Air Force, however, Army broke that streak in Saturday’s victory.