The Chicago Cubs are investigating a fan at Tuesday night’s game who possibly flashed a white power symbol on TV during a live report from the Wrigley Field stands.
The hand symbol was made while Doug Glanville was reporting for NBC Sports Chicago. You can see the gesture in the image below, made by the guy wearing the gray sweatshirt.
Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney released this statement about the incident on Wednesday morning, via WGN:
We are currently investigating an incident that occurred during the Cubs’ May 7 broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago while reporter Doug Glanville was on the air. An individual seated behind Mr. Glanville used what appears to be an offensive hand gesture that is associated with racism.
Such ignorant and repulsive behavior is not tolerated at Wrigley Field. We are reviewing the incident thoroughly because no one should be subjected to this type of offensive behavior.
Any derogatory conduct should be reported immediately to our ballpark staff. Any individual behaving in this manner will not only be removed from the ballpark, but will be permanently banned from Wrigley Field.
Glanville released his own statement on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
— Doug Glanville (@dougglanville) May 8, 2019
The symbol, which appears to be the “OK” hand gesture, has a complicated background. It never had any white power connections until 2017, when a few members of the alt-right started a hoax to trick people into thinking that it did. The purpose was for anyone who made that innocuous gesture to be accused of racism. It’s a form of internet trolling, but the white power movement ended up co-opting the gesture and using it to actually symbolize white power.
Of course, the complicated history of the symbol makes this entire situation even more complicated. Even though the symbol was flashed behind an African-American reporter, the intent isn’t clear. If it was meant as a white power symbol, it’s a despicable action. But if it was meant as the “OK” gesture, then it’s nothing. The Cubs will hopefully be thorough in their investigation, especially since they’re threatening a permanent ban from Wrigley Field.
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