Former football coach Herman Boone addressed students in a special chapel service at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene on Thursday, Feb. 7. Boone was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the 2000 film Remember the Titans.
“This move [Remember the Titans] is not about football,” Boone said during his speech. “It’s about how one can learn to accept another’s soul rather than reject them based on the color of their skin.”
During his speech, Boone spoke at length about diversity. He talked about how his football team at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. came together and won games despite the racial tensions of the time period.
He then spoke about the United States now. He noted that at lunch time in schools around the country, there is still division as “another routine is a racial comfort zone.”
Diversity is about more than race though, according to Boone. While people often think about race and gender, it also includes characteristics like age, ability, religion, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation.
“You must find ways for people of different races and cultures…to simply talk to each other,” Boone said.
Boone also spoke about not being afraid to fail. He spoke of famous men like Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill who had failed at something as a child but gone on to do great things.
Boone also congratulated the seniors. He said that they are expected to make a difference and that once they leave Southern Nazarene University, they need to show the world role models outside of the pimps and gangsters of the world.
Boone sat down for an exclusive interview with The Echo before chapel and spoke about the movie. One of the aspects where there was some creative license was the dramatic scene where he leads the team in a run to Gettysburg at three o’clock in the morning.
“I might be a little crazy as some coaches are, but I am not crazy enough to run them through swamps at three in the morning,” Boone said.
He said they had instead taken a bus at 8 pm, but it had the same effect the movie shows.
Those interested in learning more about Boone and the others involved with the T.C. Williams Titans can visit their website, 71originaltitans.com