A simple ‘Horns Down’ hand gesture has cost a national anthem singer big time.
Zac Collier, a 27-year-old US history teacher, was slated to perform the national anthem for the upcoming Men’s College World Series. But Collier lost his gig after singing the anthem and flashing a ‘Horns Down’ gesture prior to Texas-Oklahoma State game at the Women’s College World Series.
“Due to the unsportsmanlike behavior shown after your performance at the Women’s College World Series, we need to go a different direction,” the NCAA wrote in an email to Collier, which he posted on Facebook. “You are no longer scheduled to perform Game 9 of the Men’s College World Series.”
Collier, a Texas A&M alumnus and experienced anthem singer of 10 years, told ESPN that he considers the ‘Horns Down’ to be “part of college sports.” The sign is the opposite of the “Hook’em Horns gesture used by Texas fans.
“I’m an Aggie; Texas was playing,” Collier explained. “I was going to give them a ‘Go Pokes’ [hand gesture] and then a ‘Horns Down’ after the anthem. And that’s exactly what I did.:
He did, however, acknowledge his action could upset some people, but disagreed with the NCAA’s specific characterization of what he did.
“I’m a neutral party and showing my support or lack of support for a certain team after the anthem, I can see how somebody could be upset with that,” Collier said. “But the reason I posted wasn’t because I was upset that they said, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t have done that.’ It was because they called the Horns Down an offensive gesture. They said I mocked the other team. Those words specifically, are why I posted about it. Saying that I’m making a mockery of a participating team because I put a Horns Down is ridiculous.”
And while flashing the ‘Horns Down’ cost Collier the coveted gig, the NCAA’s actions aren’t discouraging him.
“If I’m going to do the Horns Down, I’m going to do the Horns Down,” Collier said. “I don’t think anybody’s going to stop me from doing it.”