With the injury taking place in the end zone on the opposite sideline from the band’s location, the injured player and activities in that area were not visible to us and we were unaware of what was happening as our band began to play. Upon realizing there was a player injured from the opposing team, we immediately ceased play. Naturally, we were concerned with the well-being of the injured Jacksonville State player.
We take the health and safety of athletes on both teams very seriously and would not intentionally show disrespect for something so serious. Members of the Aristocrat of Bands always strive to conduct themselves according to proper protocol, good sportsmanship and professionalism.
We greatly value the relationship that we have developed with Ken Bodiford and the Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners, and we regret that the Aristocrat of Bands would be viewed as poor sportsmen. We wish Jacksonville State receiver Markis Merrill well in his recovery and hope that we can continue to build a positive relationship with the Jacksonville State University football team, band and fans.
Reginald A. McDonald
Acting Director of Bands
Tennessee State University