The Army football team had a logo that the players used for motivation, but it turns out that the logo had white supremacist origins. That logo was “God Forgives, Brothers Don’t”
When officials at West Point learned of the white supremacist origins, they immediately discontinued its use.
The Army Black Knights football team had used the logo since the 90s. They had the letters “GFBD” on a flag they displayed that also included a skull and crossbones. They also had it engraved on the backs of all rings the team won at the Armed Forces Bowl.
It was also displayed in its main meeting room, with the flag.
ESPN spoke to Mark Pitcavage, who earned a doctoral degree in American military history before studying far-right extremism as part of his role with the Anti-Defamation League.
According to Pitcavage, the logo started with outlaw biker gangs to discourage snitching and was then adopted by members of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the superintendent of the United States Military Academy, said that the Army takes this very seriously and started an immediate investigation.
It turns out that a cadet watched the Brian Bosworth action movie Stone Cold and that is where he heard the line. That movie has Bosworth star as an undercover cop who goes deep into an Aryan biker gang that used the logo.
ESPN reported that an upperclassman said that the logo is their symbol. “I don’t know if you can see it, but it says ‘GFBD’ over the teeth: God Forgives, Brothers Don’t. That’s just something we always say, and that’s become part of us.”
The players and cadets said they had no idea of the white supremacist connotations.
Interestingly, the Army wanted ESPN to not mention the quote, not because of the white supremacist logo but because of the fact it used the word “God.”
They didn’t want people to be mad that they used God when they pride themselves on the separation of church and state.
The Army has ordered the logo and motto not be used again and all future slogans will need vetting.