It started out with sports radio host Jim Rome tweeting his opinions on marching bands during the Rose Bowl.
— CollegeMarchingBands (@CollegeMarching) January 2, 2015
As you can see, within a few hours the backlash had already started. College Marching Bands started off with calling Rome “public enemy #1” and popular hashtags started brewing with #MarchOnRome and #romeisburning.
Many people responded with anger at Rome for insulting something they loved so much.
Shawn Izadi, a former Texas Longhorns football player and a former member of the school’s band, tweeted back at Rome and also wrote a long open letter to him sharing his distaste in Rome’s disrespectful comments.
If you attack one, you attack all. By making comments that offended people who participate in marching band, you chose to disrespect so many more. You took aim at musicians of all kinds across the world who have dedicated their lives to this wonderful form of expression and art. You denounced the work of music educators and teachers alike who work tirelessly in their effort to inspire, motivate and take students to a level that not even they thought was possible. You criticized parents across the world for encouraging their children to do something they love and enjoy. And most importantly, you fired away at the individual performers themselves by calling them dorks, uncool, and indirectly naming their work meaningless. You became nothing more than a common bully.
— Shawn Izadi (@ShawnIzadi) January 2, 2015
Rome was quick to take down his original tweet and offer his apologies.
Band nation – I hear you. I was out of line. I apologize. I do not condone bullying of any kind and that was not my intent.
— Jim Rome (@jimrome) January 2, 2015
However, our men in uniforms didn’t get the message yet, so they still gave their awesome response on how they felt about his original comment.
— The Army Field Band (@fieldband) January 2, 2015
Many know Rome has a reputation for getting in trouble with his thoughtless insulting. He once got knocked to the floor after refusing to stop insulting a fed-up pro quarterback during a TV interview.
However, Sgt. First Class Lauren Curran, who was the one who wrote the tweet from The Army Field Band, accepted Rome’s apology and encouraged him him to come see the U.S. Army Field Band perform.
“We would love for him to come to a show. Jim, please come out to see an Army Field Band concert,” she said. “Meet some of these students. When you see how hard they work, it’s just really hard not to be a believer in what marching band does.”