The United States Military and Naval Academies are conducting separate investigations into hand gestures made by students that possibly signaled "white power" at the Army-Navy football game on Saturday according to CBS Sports. Students were seen showing the "OK" sign "which touches the thumb and forefinger in a circle" during the television broadcast.
The "OK" sign for the letters "W" and "P" which stands for "White Power." White Supremacists use the sign and it's now deemed a hate symbol by The Anti-Defamation League.
"Based on findings of the investigation, those involved will be held appropriately accountable," Cmdr. Alana Garas, a spokeswoman for the academy said to the Associated Press. "It would be inappropriate to speculate any further while we are conducting this investigation."
The Army also confirmed they are looking into the matter.
"The United States Military Academy is fully committed to developing leaders of character who embody the army values," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, West Point’s superintendent said to the AP.
The hand gestures were seen on ESPN but the network has not commented on the issue. CNN talked to The Southern Poverty Law Center about the hand gestures at the game and they like the Army and Navy are taking action.
"It is definitely hard to know if they intended this as a white power signal, but given who these people are, they should be sure to take this very seriously. We cannot have people playing around with white supremacy in the military," Heidi Beirich, the director of the Intelligence Project at the SPLC, said to CNN. "If nothing else, it's a teachable moment. Even if they didn't mean it. They should know that the symbol now has two very different meanings."
As for the game, Navy defeated Army 31-7. Navy finishes the season with 10 wins and will face Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl it's a big turnaround from the 3-10 record last year.0comments
“Obviously, it’s a credit to the young men and everybody in our program,” Niumatalolo said. “It’s hard to do. I’m really proud of our guys this year. They’ve played really well. They put themselves into a position to do that. We just have to make sure that we finish.”
As for Army, its season ends with a 5-8 record and will not play in a bowl game.