Monica S. Nagy
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, TEXAS: Senior football players at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas, have been instructed not to wear their spirit T-shirts to school because the slogan can be perceived as having a double meaning — one about being tough on the football field and one about rape.

The shirts, distributed in August, display black flags with skulls and swords and the phrase, “We take what we want.” Below the flag in white letters is “Shhhhhhh, just let it happen.”

This month, Martin’s student newspaper, the Warrior Post, published an editorial after students expressed concern about the potential innuendo in the slogan, opinion editor Sherilyn Morales said.

“The shirt’s main message is to state the player’s idea that there is no need for the opponent to put up a fight in letting our team take the ball away from them,” the editorial said. “But can this saying be easily misunderstood? Yes. Though it certainly was not the goal of the shirt, its slogan connoted rape culture.”

Morales said she wrote the editorial after discussion among editors and the newspaper’s faculty adviser signed off on the editorial. It came out on Friday.

Since then, student reaction has been mixed, especially on social media after television station NBC5 reported on the story.

“There were some that thought we were taking a personal hit on the football team,” Morales said. “We got mixed feedback.”

Martin Coach Bob Wager said the students designed the shirts at a pool party at a student’s house during the summer.

“I’ve seen the shirts several times since July, and not once did it cross my mind that it was inappropriate,” Wager said.

Booster club President Kevin White said Martin’s senior football players design T-shirts every year.