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Army-Navy game: White Power hand symbol appears to be used during pregame broadcast

Army-Navy game: White Power hand symbol appears to be used during pregame broadcast

, USA TODAY
Published 6:27 p.m. ET Dec. 14, 2019 | Updated 9:40 p.m. ET Dec. 14, 2019

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Questions erupted during the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia when students appeared to make the White Power hand symbol during a pregame broadcast.

Spokespersons from the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy told USA TODAY Sports they have been made aware of the issue – which blossomed on social media as the game wore on – and the schools are looking into it. 

A spokesperson for West Point said the academy was investigating and did “not know the Cadets’ intent.”

ESPN’s Rece Davis was doing a standup segment at Lincoln Financial Field at the 120th meeting of the service academies when a Cadet held up a flag that said “Go Army Beat Navy” and began laughing.

Someone on the Midshipmen side who was out of the frame then appeared to make the one-handed symbol, and did it until someone wearing a glove tapped them on the hand.

Watch this video. Two cadets clearly flash white power hand signals; one of them does it right behind the head of a black cadet. This is on live TV at the Army-Navy game.

The @NavalAcademy should kick these students out. https://t.co/FfssOG2tOq

— *you’re (@RKJ65) December 14, 2019

Then a gloved hand appeared in the frame on the Cadet side with the upside-down OK symbol, and finally a Cadet appeared to make the symbol next to Davis’ head.

The cadets should be well aware of what they were doing, what a disgusting act when they decided to throw up the white power sign #ARMYNAVY#ArmyNavyGamepic.twitter.com/hbjUfA9m01

— Dakota Fuqua (@DakotaFuqua1997) December 14, 2019

The gesture, though, is also used in the so-called Circle Game. In it, a person holds an upside-down OK sign below his or her waist. If someone notices, the person making the symbol is able to punch the person who notices it in the shoulder.

The Anti-Defamation League in September added the OK symbol as a gesture of hate.

In October, Universal Studios Resort fired an actor dressed as a “Despicable Me” character after the person was accused of using the symbol.

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