Military officials are investigating the alleged use of “white power” hand signs during the live broadcast of Saturday’s Army-Navy Game after video clips appeared to show at least two cadets and one midshipman flashing the upside-down OK symbol behind ESPN’s Rece Davis.
MORE: Cubs ban fan from Wrigley Field indefinitely for alleged racist hand gesture
“We’re looking into it,” Lt. Col. Chris Ophardt, a West Point spokesman, told the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t know what their intention is.”
While the hand gesture has recently been associated with white supremacy, it is also used in the “circle game,” in which the person making the hand symbol tries to trick someone into looking at it. If the person looks, they receive a punch to the shoulder.
The game was played on the popular TV series Malcolm in the Middle:
West Point and Annapolis officials will determine if the hand gestures were being used as part of the game or were motivated by racism.
Earlier this week, West Point said a motto on its team flag was removed in September after it was linked to racism. From the Wall Street Journal:
“The United States Military Academy has stripped a motto from its football team spirit flag because of its connection to hate groups, the academy said on Sunday. Since the mid-1990s, the Army Black Knights football team at West Point has been using a flag with a skull and crossbones and “G.F.B.D.”, which stands for “God Forgives, Brothers Don’t,” the academy said. The team used the motto until academy officials learned that the phrase was associated with extremist groups.”
President Donald Trump, who has been accused of emboldening racist behavior during his first term, took the field for the ceremonial coin toss wearing a hat that read, “Keep America Great.”
Navy defeated Army 31-7.