Army ditched its football team’s motto after discovering it originated with Aryan Brotherhood 

'GFBD' stands for 'God forgives, brothers don't, the U.S. Military Academy has learned

'GFBD' stands for 'God forgives, brothers don't, the U.S. Military Academy has learned

‘GFBD’ stands for ‘God forgives, brothers don’t, the U.S. Military Academy has learned

The Army football program removed an abbreviated slogan from a team flag and team merchandise earlier in the year because it originated with white supremacists, the school revealed on Thursday.

ESPN was the first to report the change, which reportedly occurred in September.

Since the mid-1990s, the Army Cadets have waved a flag before games that bears a skull and crossbones with ‘GFBD’ emblazoned above the mouth, meaning ‘God forgives, brothers don’t.’ It reportedly appeared on team merchandise as well.

A member of the Cadets would typically carry the skull and crossbones flag while leading his teammates onto the field before games. The practice had been abandoned for a number of years until it was revived by coach Jeff Monken when he was hired in 2014.

Monken was ‘mortified’ by the revelation of the phrase’s racist roots, Army Athletic Director Mike Buddie told ESPN.

Since the mid-1990s, the Army Cadets have used a flag that bears a skull and crossbones with 'GFBD' emblazoned above the mouth, meaning 'God forgives, brothers don't'

Since the mid-1990s, the Army Cadets have used a flag that bears a skull and crossbones with 'GFBD' emblazoned above the mouth, meaning 'God forgives, brothers don't'

Since the mid-1990s, the Army Cadets have used a flag that bears a skull and crossbones with ‘GFBD’ emblazoned above the mouth, meaning ‘God forgives, brothers don’t’

A member of the Cadets would typically wave the skull and crossbones flag before leading his teammates onto the field before games. The practice had been abandoned for a number of years until it was revived by coach Jeff Monken (pictured) when he was hired in 2014. Monken was 'mortified' by the revelation of the phrase's racist roots, Army Athletic Director Mike Buddie told ESPN

A member of the Cadets would typically wave the skull and crossbones flag before leading his teammates onto the field before games. The practice had been abandoned for a number of years until it was revived by coach Jeff Monken (pictured) when he was hired in 2014. Monken was 'mortified' by the revelation of the phrase's racist roots, Army Athletic Director Mike Buddie told ESPN

United States Military Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams (pictured) called the revelation 'embarrassing, quite frankly'

United States Military Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams (pictured) called the revelation 'embarrassing, quite frankly'

A member of the Cadets would typically wave the skull and crossbones flag before leading his teammates onto the field before games. The practice had been abandoned for a number of years until it was revived by coach Jeff Monken (left) when he was hired in 2014. Monken was ‘mortified’ by the revelation of the phrase’s racist roots, Army Athletic Director Mike Buddie told ESPN. United States Military Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams (right) called the revelation ’embarrassing, quite frankly’ 

In this shot, 'GFBD' cannot be seen above the mouth on the skull and crossbones. As ESPN reported Thursday, the U.S. Military Academy ditched the abbreviated phrase in September

In this shot, 'GFBD' cannot be seen above the mouth on the skull and crossbones. As ESPN reported Thursday, the U.S. Military Academy ditched the abbreviated phrase in September

In this shot, ‘GFBD’ cannot be seen above the mouth on the skull and crossbones. As ESPN reported Thursday, the U.S. Military Academy ditched the abbreviated phrase in September 

The phrase was popularized by members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Racist biker gangs and other such organizations have also shared the phrase, which serves as a warning against snitching.

‘It’s embarrassing, quite frankly,’ United States Military Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams told ESPN. ‘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.’

USMC’s internal investigation found the team’s use of the slogan was ‘benign,’ adding that the cadet who introduced the phrase to the school was unaware of its origin.

‘GFBD’ was reportedly adopted at West Point from the movie, Stone Cold, starring former University of Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth and Lance Henriksen, the latter of whom says a similar phrase in the film: ‘God forgives, the Brotherhood doesn’t.’

Nowadays many former Army Cadets players can be seen using the ‘#GFBD’ hashtag on Twitter and other social media platforms. 

'GFBD' was reportedly adopted at West Point from the movie, Stone Cold, starring former University of Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth (right) and Lance Henriksen (left), the latter of whom says a similar phrase in the film: 'God forgives, the Brotherhood doesn't.'

'GFBD' was reportedly adopted at West Point from the movie, Stone Cold, starring former University of Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth (right) and Lance Henriksen (left), the latter of whom says a similar phrase in the film: 'God forgives, the Brotherhood doesn't.'

‘GFBD’ was reportedly adopted at West Point from the movie, Stone Cold, starring former University of Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth (right) and Lance Henriksen (left), the latter of whom says a similar phrase in the film: ‘God forgives, the Brotherhood doesn’t.’

Many current and former Army Cadets players have taken to the abbreviated phrase: GFBD

Many current and former Army Cadets players have taken to the abbreviated phrase: GFBD

Many current and former Army Cadets players have taken to the abbreviated phrase: GFBD

"#GFBD" has become a popular hashtag on Twitter among Army fans and former players

"#GFBD" has become a popular hashtag on Twitter among Army fans and former players

“#GFBD” has become a popular hashtag on Twitter among Army fans and former players 

Navy’s football program was dealt with a similar problem earlier in the year, when several Midshipmen tried to make ‘load the clip’ the team motto. 

A ‘clip’ in this case is the part of a gun that contains multiple rounds of ammunition.  

Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo made an apology after an inquiry from the Capital Gazette, a local Annapolis, Maryland newspaper that was the site of a mass shooting in 2018.

‘We understand that it probably wasn’t appropriate, considering the current climate and certain things that are happening in our society,’ Niumatalolo said.

Team captains originally chose the slogan, which Niumatalolo reluctantly approved because, he told reporters, the Midshipmen are very familiar with firearms. 

After being approached by the newspaper, team captains changed the slogan to: ‘Win the Day.’  

The skull and crossbones (right) has become synonymous with the Army Cadets football team

The skull and crossbones (right) has become synonymous with the Army Cadets football team

The skull and crossbones (right) has become synonymous with the Army Cadets football team

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