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Stanford Athletics says it ‘deeply regrets’ offense caused by band’s halftime show

Deseret News 11/29/2022 Ryan McDonald
Empty seats at Stanford Stadium are shown during the first half of an NCAA college football game between Stanford and Colorado in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. © Jeff Chiu, Associated Press Empty seats at Stanford Stadium are shown during the first half of an NCAA college football game between Stanford and Colorado in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.

The Stanford athletic department issued a statement to BYU’s student newspaper regarding a halftime show performed during Saturday’s football game between the Cardinal and BYU Cougars at Stanford Stadium, saying it “did not reflect Stanford University’s values of religious freedom and diversity, inclusion and belonging.”

During the game, a Daily Universe writer posted a photo on Twitter showing the stadium video board and wording that referenced the doctrine of eternal marriage held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the institution that sponsors BYU.

According to the Universe, the show “involved a pair of women being married to each other, with the officiator using terms and phrases taken from sacred temple ceremonies within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

In a statement published by the Universe on Monday night, a Stanford spokesperson was quoted as saying, “The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) has a long history of lighthearted and satirical halftime performances. Unfortunately, some of the language that was used in Saturday’s halftime show did not reflect Stanford University’s values of religious freedom and diversity, inclusion and belonging.

“The LSJUMB deeply regrets that this performance caused offense to spectators, and the halftime performance review and approval process is being adjusted to ensure that issues like this do not occur again.”

The last time the Cougars and Cardinal faced each other at Stanford in 2004, the school’s athletic director at the time, Ted Leland, apologized after the LSJUMB performed a skit during halftime that “poked fun at polygamy,” the Deseret News reported at the time.

BYU won Saturday’s game, 35-26.

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