The Army cadets and Navy midshipmen who made the "OK" hand sign during Saturday’s Army-Navy football game "disgraced the armed forces," author and former Navy chief Malcolm Nance told MSNBC on Monday.
Nance said he “took a very dim view” of the students who made the gesture. The “OK” hand symbol was adopted as a sign by white supremacists after the image board 4chan spread the idea as a hoax in 2017. It’s also used as part of an unrelated game to trick people into looking at the gesture.
The Anti-Defamation League notes that much of the time, the “OK” hand sign is used in a “harmless” and “entirely innocuous” way, but some white supremacists have used the sign to indicate the letters “WP,” or “white power,” according to Newsweek.
Nance added that he couldn’t tell "whether it was a white power symbol or whether it was the 'make you look game'" and said he’d defer to their commanders and to the investigations that have started at the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
"The good order and conduct, and the appearance of probably and dignity of West Point and the naval academy have been breached, and that is precisely why by tomorrow morning we are going to have some very decisive looks into precisely what happened,” he said.
"But what we are seeing now is you may be seeing people who have, you know, not doing good order and discipline in the ranks, but you may also be seeing people who have an opportunity to present a white power symbol," Nance continued later. "And again we are not going to be the arbiters of this."
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