Food Cadets Were Playing Game, Not Flashing ‘White Power’ Indication, Army Finds



Navy midshipmen march on to the area forward of the yearly NCAA school soccer sport between the Army and the Navy in Philadelphia on Dec. 14.

Matt Rourke/AP

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Matt Rourke/AP


Navy midshipmen march onto the discipline ahead of the once-a-year NCAA school football game involving the Army and the Navy in Philadelphia on Dec. fourteen.

Matt Rourke/AP

The U.S. Navy Academy at West Issue introduced Friday it has wrapped up an investigation into no matter whether cadets flashed a “white power” hand signal for the duration of ESPN’s pregame broadcast of the Military-Navy soccer recreation before this month.

Its conclusion: “The cadets have been playing a common sport, preferred among youngsters today, identified as the ‘circle game’ and the intent was not affiliated with ideologies or movements that are contrary to the Army values,” according to a assertion from the academy exactly where U.S. Military officers are educated.

The statement goes on to say that an unnamed navy investigator found out this recreation was remaining performed in advance of ESPN’s anchor Rece Davis moved into the crowd to do a live strike for the network’sUniversity GameDayDec. 14 broadcast.

In the 120th installment of the Military-Navy video game, Navy won by a rating of 31-seven.

“We investigated this make a difference comprehensively,” Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, superintendent of the U.S. Armed forces Academy, said in a information launch.

“Past Saturday we had reason to feel these actions were an innocent game and not linked to extremism, but we have to take allegations this sort of as these incredibly very seriously,” Williams explained.

“We are dissatisfied by the immature conduct of the cadets,” he reported.

The navy academy says the cadets associated in flashing the gesture “will obtain proper administrative and/or disciplinary steps.”

The assertion did not deliver any additional particulars about what the probable disciplinary steps may entail.

Food The 'OK' Hand Gesture Is Now Listed As A Symbol Of Hate

In accordance to a redacted memorandum dealt with to Williams, “a few cadets building the ‘OK’ hand gesture were positively recognized.”

It continues by detailing the “circle sport” is “an internationally identified activity” in which participants try to get a person else to appear at the Alright-like hand gesture, which is generally flashed underneath the waistline.

“All three cadets also deny any intention of their ‘OK’ gesture owning a that means associated with white supremacy ideology or any other movement/ideology,” the memorandum suggests.

The Navy Times, citing the military services investigator, has added specifics about how the match is played.

” ‘The premise of the game is that a person helps make a circle with their pointer finger and thumb below their waist,’ the investigator wrote. ‘If somebody appears to be at the circle, they eliminate and the man or woman who created the circle gets to punch the man or woman who appeared in the arm.’

“Other ‘variations on the game’ include things like photobombing a photograph though exhibiting the gesture, in accordance to the investigation.”

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The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil legal rights group, extra the symbol to its “Dislike on Display screen” database in September. As NPR described at the time, fringe on-line message boards these as 4chan and 8chan deployed the “Alright” sign in memes and other photographs, marketing it as a symbol of detest.

Citing sworn statements from the cadets concerned, people bordering them, as very well as the cadet chain of command, “all condition they imagine that the gestures ended up a misplaced joke” and not something to market supremacist ideology, the investigator wrote.

The investigating officer proposed the academy acquire methods that “determine leader steps” cadets ought to consider prior to taking section in “vast exposure occasions.” The officer also proposed incorporating conversations and briefings about detest speech and actions, incorporating: “A major hard work should be made to hold teaching recent in get to deal with improvements in the use of dislike group symbology.”

You can read the memorandum underneath.