Few of Virginia Tech’s basketball players thought they didn’t have to pay much attention to the national anthem, which made their coach unhappy. They didn’t stand up for the national anthem, so their coach gave them an unforgettable speech to teach them a lesson (on the video below).

He taught them what it means to be an American and why saluting the flag is important. This speech by Coach Buzz Williams quickly went viral because a lot of people agreed with and supported him.

“We didn’t earn those chairs,” the coach told the players, pointing to the bench.

He kept talking and said, “Your talent didn’t get you those chairs. Those chairs weren’t given to you because of how tall you are, how fast you run, or how well you shoot. Even though I wrote a play, worked hard to find actors, and worked hard, I didn’t get the chair. When these guys were your age, they messed up their lives.

They stopped going to school. They made a change in their work. They died because of those chairs. Do you guys get what I’m trying to say? Not us, not us. So, when the national anthem is played, we’ll stand up like men and remember men like these who died so we could have a place to sit.”

Williams then tells the players that they should not only stand for the national anthem, but also pay attention to what they are saluting and not take the freedoms they have as Americans for granted.

“Then, for the two and a half minutes that the song is played or someone sings it, we will stand at attention and honor these men. We won’t move from side to side. “We’re not going to mess with our shorts or our jersey,” he said.

“We’re going to give those two and a half minutes to the people who earned these chairs, because that gives us the freedom to do what we’re doing.”

People cheered Williams’ speech because they thought it was the right way to talk about the national anthem controversy.

“I don’t know what this coach’s name is, but he’s a man of honor. The things he said to these young men made me cry. One AWM reader said, “He didn’t yell at them or make them feel bad. Instead, he taught them that behind this song are real people who have given so much for them and their country.”

“They will remember this lesson for the rest of their lives, and maybe they won’t treat a service member badly again. Thank you sir.”

Coach Williams is known to give this speech every year at the start of the season to make sure that new players understand how important it is to respect those who “earned the chairs.”

Watch below as he works with some amazing Veterans to teach them, in a powerful and respectful way, what it means to appreciate freedom.

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