A national anthem singer's gesture during a performance has led to him being fired. Zac Collier, a US history teacher was scheduled to perform the national anthem for the Men's College World Series, according to the New York Post. However, the 27-year-old lost the gig after flashing the "Horns Down" gesture after singing before the 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 told Collier in an email. "You are no longer scheduled to perform Game 9 of the Men's College World Series." Collier posted the email to his Facebook page and doesn't regret the gesture. He went to school at Texas A&M and has been singing the national anthem for 10 years.
National anthem singer Zac Collier posted to Facebook and said his horns down gesture during the Women's College World Series got his performance at the Men's College World Series canceled.— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) June 14, 2022
The NCAA labeled the horns down gesture as an "offensive gesture." pic.twitter.com/PEBcsintXC
"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 in an interview with ESPN. "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."
ESPN spoke to an NCAA spokesperson and confirmed that Collier's appearance has been canceled after the incident. "The performance of the national anthem during NCAA championship events is a solemn moment for reflection and mutual respect for all championship participants and fans in attendance," the NCAA said in a statement. "Following his national anthem performance during the Women's College World Series — during which the performer inappropriately supported one participating team, taunted the other team, and disrupted participating student-athletes and coaches by attempting to interact with them — he was asked not to perform during the Men's College World Series."
Collier said he's disappointed he won't sing before Game 9 of the College World Series in Omaha and is surprised by the reaction. "I believe it's part of the rivalry. It's part of college sports," he said. "I don't believe the Horns Down is any more offensive than a Gig 'Em or a Hook 'Em or a Wreck 'Em."