Want more from Sunday TODAY? Catch up on our interviews and features here

News

Virginia Tech coach bring veterans to teach team respect for national anthem

Before each game, Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Buzz Williams wants to make sure his players know the national anthem is something to be respected.

To drive home the point, Williams brought in a group of military veterans to teach his squad about the importance of standing at attention for the anthem.

Williams had his players stand across from the vets, with the chairs they sit on during games on the sidelines between them.

"These guys, when they were you age, interrupted their life, they paused their education, they changed their career, and they gave their life for those chairs," Williams says in the video. "So when the anthem is played, we're going to stand like grown men and we're going to honor men like this, that gave their life, so we can have a chair to sit in."

The powerful scene has resonated beyond the sports world.

It was first released in November but went viral on Facebook this week, receiving almost six million views while the Hokies are in the midst of the ACC Tournament.

Williams' point about respecting the anthem is one he makes before every season.

Two seasons ago, he made the players learn every word of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and also spoke to them about the sacrifices of military veterans.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

TOP