ECU officials are apologizing for a chant from the ECU student section before Saturday's game against NC State.
Below is the message from Steve Ballard/ECU Chancellor, Terry Holland/ECU Athletics Director, Ruffin McNeill/ECU Football Coach and Treymayne Smith/ECU SGA President:
"On behalf of the ECU Student Body and all the members of the Pirate Nation, we would like to publicly apologize to every man, woman and child who heard the unfortunate chant from the ECU student section on Saturday. The fact that it occurred as the National Anthem was being played makes us wish we could apologize to every American, particularly those who defend our flag at the risk of their own lives and their families' well being.
We are sure the students who made the poor decision to join a chant belittling our opponent did not hear the anthem beginning. However, that error in judgment by a small number of students should serve as a stark reminder to all that a seemingly frivolous prank can embarrass(and anger) a great university's tens of thousands of constituents as well as our visitors.
The actions of those few students also diminished and tarnished the efforts of current ECU students on the field and in the stands who worked so hard to create a perfect (almost) game day atmosphere in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium that is the envy of even the biggest football programs in this country. There is no stadium in the country that has already celebrated two wins on the last play of the game in the classy manner that the nation witnessed after the Tulsa and N.C. State victories.
There were still scattered reports of less visible examples of poor behavior on Saturday. History tells us that anytime we attempt to belittle other human beings simply because they are wearing the colors of their school, we only diminish our own humanity and insure our own eventual defeat.
There is no place on the ECU campus for that kind of thinking or behavior so we will continue to ask every member of the Pirate Nation to step forward and be heard on this issue. We ask that you continue to go the extra mile to welcome one and all to ECU events and to report any incidents of harassing behavior.
It is our belief that events such as these are an unfortunate part of our journey to be what we all want East Carolina University to represent to one and all.
We are proud members of the Pirate Nation. GO PIRATES!"