ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb from Virginia announced he will not accept a Naval Academy Alumni Association award because of recent protests from other alumni.

Media outlets report several alumni wrote to the association starting last week, asking the organization to rescind the Distinguished Graduate Award planned for Webb, a 1968 graduate, because of his record of statements on women in the military.

The award ceremony will take place Friday.

In 1979, Webb wrote an essay for Washingtonian magazine called "Women Can't Fight." In it, he said the presence of women "at institutions dedicated to the preparation of men for combat command is poisoning that preparation."

Webb announced Tuesday he won't accept the award and said his support for the advancement of women in the military has "been so wrongly characterized."