Credit: Screen grabs
Military Students Bashed for Flashing ‘White Power’ Sign at Football Game — Just One Problem

Military Students Bashed for Flashing ‘White Power’ Sign at Football Game — Just One Problem

A number of news outlets reported that students had made “white power” hand signs during a pregame broadcast at the Army-Navy game Saturday in Philadelphia. 

ESPN host Rece Davis was doing a standup segment in the student section of Lincoln Financial Field at the 120th meeting of the service academies when West Point cadets and Annapolis midshipmen flashed inverted “OK” gestures behind his back. Officials from both schools said they were investigating the incident and trying to determine the students’ intention.

Headlines at outlets from The Huffington Post to USA Today to The Wall Street Journal blared that the students had promoted white supremacy, caveating the news with words like “apparent,” “appears” and “possible.”

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At the same time, liberal Twitter activists rushed to condemn the students as symbols of systemic racism in Trump’s America.


Some explicitly blamed President Donald Trump, who attended the rivalry game for the third time and was given a roaring welcome by the crowd.

Others sought to shame the individual students involved.


A number of liberals compared the students’ behavior to events that presaged the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.

As the news reports noted, the Anti-Defamation League in September added the OK hand symbol — in which the thumb and forefinger form a circle with the other three fingers extended — to its growing list of hate symbols. But making the gesture upside-down and below the waist has long been part of the popular “circle game,” in which one person tries to trick others into looking at the sign and is allowed to punch them in the arm if successful.

Conservatives mock the media’s reaction to “white power” at the Army-Navy game

Conservatives on Twitter were pretty sure the Army and Navy students were playing the circle game.

Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy led efforts to shame the shamers of the students, saying the media had clearly learned nothing from the debunked reporting and backlash over the Covington Catholic boys.

Commentators shared photos of prominent Democrats, liberals and non-white figures using the “OK” hand gesture.

Meanwhile, earlier appreciation of the Army-Navy joint rendition of the National Anthem was largely lost in the uproar — as was the game itself, which Navy won 31-7.

At a time when many on the left see signs of Trump-fueled white supremacy everywhere, OK-hand-symbol hysteria has become routine.

A similar controversy broke out in May when a Chicago Cubs fan displayed an OK sign during an NBC Sports broadcast at Wrigley Field. Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney called the action “ignorant and repulsive,” and the organization indefinitely banned the fan from the ballpark.

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

Cover image: ESPN host Rece Davis does a standup segment at the Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Dec, 14, 2019./Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. (Screen grabs)



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