VIDEO: University marching band spells ‘Trayvon’ on field during halftime ‘salute’
The Alabama State University (ASU) marching band performed a “salute” for slain-Florida youth Trayvon Martin during halftime of a football game on Saturday by spelling out his name on the field and playing Amazing Grace.
“Raise your right hand and salute the life of Trayvon Martin,” the announcer said to the crowd during the halftime match between ASU and Jackson State, which are both historically black colleges.
WATCH: Alabama State marching band spells ‘Trayvon’ in halftime tribute
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we ask that you please rise and join the Mighty Marching Hornets as we salute the life of Trayvon Martin and join us in the honored tradition of Amazing Grace," he intoned.
Duer Sharp, commissioner for the Southwestern Athletic Conference also tweeted a photo of the Trayvon tribute on Sunday calling it a "tribute."
The band’s director, meanwhile, denied in an interview with a local online news source, AL.com, that the salute was meant as a political statement.
“ASU band director James Oliver said this week the demonstration was not a protest over the jury verdict that ruled 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's killing an act of self defense,” the article said.
Oliver reportedly said the show was about gun violence in that it "utilized the tragic death of Trayvon Martin as a symbolic recognition that far too many young men die of senseless gun violence."
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