NBA superstar Steph Curry unveiled his new line of Under Armour golf gear Monday at an event in Shenzhen, China, and right-wing social media users took note.
The logo for Curry’s “Range Unlimited” collection is an “OK” hand sign, a reference to how Curry commonly celebrates after draining a three-pointer. However, the gesture is also sometimes interpreted as a white supremacist symbol.
“I wanted to try to blend my personality, my joy, my style off the court into a golf capsule,” Curry said in a press release. “When you look good, you feel good and you play good golf.”
Right-wing social media personality Mike Cernovich was among the Twitter users who flagged the political implications of Curry’s logo.
What the heck is this!? pic.twitter.com/1PCZyqeVhg
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 24, 2019
Daily Wire contributor Harry Khachatrian joked that Curry had just outed himself.
Wow. Steps Curry confirmed white supremacist
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) June 24, 2019
Other users complained of what they saw as a serious double standard. They noted there is no outrage when Curry flashes the sign, likely because the three-time NBA champion for the Golden State Warriors is black and an outspoke liberal.
By contrast, last month, the Chicago Cubs last month indefinitely banned a white fan from Wrigley Field for making the “OK” sign while black NBC Sports Chicago commentator and former MLB outfielder Doug Glanville was on live TV.
“When a cubs fan flashed the cirlce game sign at a game on tv why was that considered racist and a white power sign?” wrote one commenter. “But steph curry can print the same hand sign on a hat and sell it for profit? And its not a white power sign now? The Media is manipulative & pushes their agenda.”
The Steph Curry golf line and the problematic “OK” sign
Many on the right have argued that progressives’ fixation on the “OK” sign as a racist symbol is absurd and evidence of liberals’ penchant for finding offense in even the most innocuous gestures. They note that liberal paragons such as former President Barack Obama and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are all “guilty” of performing the sign.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, white nationalists adopted the gesture prior to a 2017 hoax campaign by users of the 4chan imageboard site. That effort sought to troll the left by popularizing the association of the sign with the white power movement.
The progressive “hate groups” watchdog cited the early use of the gesture by alt-right figures, such as Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos. Mudding the waters further was the use of the hand sign by the white supremacist who was charged with massacring 49 people at two New Zealand mosques in March.
The Anti-Defamation League initially rejected equating the “OK” symbol with white supremacy However, the organization has since updated a blog post on their site with a more expanded discussion of the issue. According to the ADL, only “if the gesture occurs in context with other clear indicators of white supremacy can one” conclude that “such a gesture is intending or exhibiting an association with white supremacy.”
The organization noted “that the ‘OK’ gesture is a nearly universal hand gesture and most usage of it is completely innocuous.”