The annual Army-Navy game played last Saturday at Philadelphia´s Lincoln Financial Field, in which Navy won 31-7 and has demonstrated not only to be the scene of a classic American sport competition, but it has also put on the table one of the darkest aspects of extremist political positions of our current world.
Previous to the championship fight, for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy , during the pregame show on ESPN ,there was an incident whose implications have led the military to investigate allegations that students flashed a white supremacist hand gesture to cameras.
The investigation is focused into the possible use of a “White Power” hand symbol by students during ESPN’s broadcast. Both Midshipmen and Army Cadets stand accused in the potential flashing of the offensive symbol.
“U.S. Naval Academy officials have appointed a preliminary inquiry officer to conduct an internal investigation into the hand gestures made during the ESPN College GameDay broadcast prior to yesterday’s Army-Navy game,” a Navy spokesperson said Sunday in a statement. “Based on findings of the investigation, those involved will be held appropriately accountable. It would be inappropriate to speculate any further while we are conducting this investigation.”
“The United States Military Academy is fully committed to developing leaders of character who embody the Army Values,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, West Point’s superintendent, in a statement. “I have appointed an Investigating Officer according to Army Regulation 15-6, to conduct an administrative investigation into the facts, circumstances, and intent of the Cadets in question.”
Screenshots from the game’s telecast show cadet and midshipmen in the crowd making the suspected hatred gesture with their hands. The gesture was seen during ESPN´s Rece Davis standup segment at Lincoln Financial Field at the 120th meeting of the service academy. One gesture with the upside-down OK symbol appeared to come from the Midshipmen’s side and two from the Cadets’ side.
According to the Anti-Defamation League,(ADL), a Jewish civil rights group, the “okay” hand gesture—in which the thumb and index finger touch while the other fingers of the hand are held outstretched—began its circulation as a hoax by members of the website 4chan as a popular trolling tactic, saying the hand gesture formed a “W” and “P” for “white power.”
Quite recently, by 2019, the gesture has been used by some radical groups “as a sincere expression of white supremacy,” the group says. The ADL added this symbol to its online database “Hate on Display,” which is list that provides explanations for symbols, memes and slogans that are frequently used by white supremacist and other hate groups.