A coach from the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team made what appears to be a Nazi salute, not once, but twice, towards his players after winning a game against the Texas Rangers team last Thursday.
Ryan Christenson, bench coach for the Oakland A's team, can be seen on videos posted on Twitter, extending his arm in the Nazi salute like manner. The A's relief pitcher, Liam Hendriks, can be seen forcing the coaches arm down before Christenson appears to perform the Nazi like salute once more. The video has been posted, and or retweeted by thousands of users online.
Oakland A's Bench Coach Ryan Christenson Apologizes for Nazi Salute During Game https://t.co/KPm978ddlh— TMZ (@TMZ) August 7, 2020
After the video began circulating the internet, a joint apology was released by Christenson, and the team, posted on Twitter on Saturday.
"I made a mistake and I will not deny it," Christenson begins. He continued, claiming that the salute was intended to be a gesture adapted to the inability to make normal physical gestures with his players usually used to celebrate due to coronavirus social distancing.
"Today, in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world today of Covid, I adapted our elbow bump, which we do after wins, to create some distance with the players. He claimed that the gesture wasn't intended to be offensive, despite it being a universally recognized gesture."My gesture unintentionally resulted in a racist and horrible salute that I do not believe in. What I did was unacceptable and I deeply apologize," he concluded.
The official statement by the Oakland Athletics began by recognizing that Christenson's "gesture looked like a Nazi salute."
They added that they neither support or condone the gesture "or the racist sentiment behind it. This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a Club and so many others are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country.We are deeply sorry that this happened on our playing field."