The academy should be embarrassed:

Former senator Jim Webb declined Tuesday to accept an award as a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, citing pressure from a “small but vociferous group” of female alumni who are angry about past statements he made that women aren’t suited for combat and shouldn’t attend the academy.

Webb, who was a Democratic senator from Virginia from 2007 to 2013 and was secretary of the Navy from May 1986 to Feb. 1987, was expected to receive a Distinguished Graduate Award along with four other alumni Friday in a ceremony in Annapolis. The recognition is the most prestigious awarded by the Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation, and it goes to living alumni whose character, service and stature “draw wholesome comparison to the qualities that the U.S. Naval Academy strives for in keeping with its ideals of duty, honor, loyalty and integrity,” according to criteria published by the association.

But critics said the selection of Webb a highly decorated Marine veteran, 1968 academy graduate and recent presidential candidate was unacceptable because of his history of disrespecting women. They pointed primarily to an article published in Washingtonian magazine in 1979 in which he criticized women attending the academy and said that a dormitory there was a “horny woman’s dream.” The article, headlined “Women Can’t Fight,” was written by Webb after he left the military and while he was a popular academy professor.”