Naval Academy Changed Color Guard to Appear More Diverse at World Series

Naval Academy leaders are under fire after altering the composition of the military color guard at a World Series game last month so the group wouldn't be made up only of white men.

The Navy Times and other media reported that two white midshipmen were removed from the performance in New York City and replaced with a Pakistani-American man and a white woman so the group would appear more diverse.

Capt. Matthew Klunder, commandant of midshipmen, disputed that version of events. He said he considered replacing two members but decided to add two extra people instead, expanding the group from six to eight members.

Only six people ended up participating in the Game 2 routine at Yankee Stadium, Klunder said, because one of the two additions — Midshipman 2nd Class Zishan Hameed — forgot parts of his uniform. The color guard performs in even numbers, he said.

Watch the color guard's routine on YouTube.

Color guard members were upset by the decision to change the makeup of the group but were forbidden by the academy from discussing it, the paper said.

The Naval Academy volunteer group — which carries the American flag and other flags during ceremonies — has a total of 28 members. About 20 percent of the guard's midshipmen are female and one-quarter are minorities.

The New York Yankees won the 2009 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies during Game 6.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.