In the Yale men’s basketball team’s first public response since former captain Jack Montague ’16 left the team, team members entered their game against Harvard on Friday night wearing gray T-shirts that made reference to the former Yale shooting guard.
The Nike T-shirts had Montague’s jersey number and nickname, “Gucci,” on the back and “Yale” on the front, spelled backwards with inverted letters. Fans in the Yale student section also chanted “Gucci” at several points throughout the game, a 59–50 Yale victory that was broadcast nationally on FOX Sports 1.
The team did not wear the shirts on Saturday against Dartmouth, its final home game of the regular season and Senior Night.
Guard AJ Edwards ’17 came up with the idea for the T-shirts at the “last minute,” forward Justin Sears ’16 said at the postgame press conference. Sears added that the school’s name was inverted in order to avoid a copyright issue.
“‘Yale’ spelled backwards wasn’t to make a statement. It’s just because Yale is a brand and there was a copyright,” Sears said. “It was just convenient, at the last minute. Everyone on the team supported it and wanted to show our support for Jack.”
Yale sports publicity announced in a Wednesday press release that Montague, whose status on his academic record changed to “withdrawn” on Feb. 10, will not return to the team. The press release said the University would not provide further comment.
On Thursday, Assistant Director of Sports Publicity Tim Bennett said that there were no plans to appoint an interim captain for the team’s remaining games.
All players wore the gray T-shirts on Friday, only taking them off just before entering the game. In addition to the players, a student manager also wore the T-shirt.