Former Navy SEAL Admiral William McRaven, who commanded the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) when al-Qa’ida leader Usama Bin Ladin was killed by American commandos in 2011, has indirectly weighed in on the Colin Kaepernick National Anthem controversy by way of an August 29, 2016, memorandum to the presidents and athletic directors of the University of Texas System.

McRaven, after retiring from the Navy as a four-star admiral and commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in 2014, was named the Chancellor of the Texas System in January 2015.  In the August 2016 memo to his subordinates, McRaven refers to an earlier January memo he had also sent them, asking that they ensure the school’s coaches and athletes stand straight, face the flag, and place their hands over their hearts during the playing of the National Anthem.

While McRaven does not explicitly mention Kaepernick in his latest memorandum, one can surmise that the latter’s recent refusal to stand during the Anthem is what spurred McRaven to send out the second memo.

The unedited text is below:

(Photo: Marsha Miller, HOEP)

August 29, 2016


From: William H. McRaven