Separate investigations conducted by the Army and Navy have determined that hand gestures prior to the Army-Navy game weren’t racist, the military academies announced Friday.
Last Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, Navy rode a record-breaking performance from Malcolm Perry to roll over Army. The 31-7 romp snapped a three-game losing streak for the Naval Academy in the rivalry.
However, prior to the game during ESPN‘s College GameDay pregame show, a trio of individuals — two West Point cadets and one Naval Academy midshipman — were seen making a hand sign on the broadcast that some stated had become associated with “white power” or white supremacy groups.
Following the game, officials from both military academies confirmed that they were looking into the situation. In twin press releases Friday, the academies stated that their investigations had determined that there was no racism involved at all; rather, the cadets and midshipman involved were playing “the circle game.”
“We are confident the hand gestures used were not intended to be racist in any way,” a statement from Naval Academy superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck began. “However, we are disappointed by the immature behavior of the two Fourth Class Midshipmen, and their actions will be appropriately addressed.”
“We had reason to believe these actions were an innocent game and not linked to extremism, but we must take allegations such as these very seriously,” West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams said in a separate statement. “We are disappointed by the immature behavior of the cadets.”
As far as any type of discipline, the cadets at West Point will receive unspecified “appropriate administrative” measures. The midshipmen at Annapolis will receive further training as to how “our behavior must be professional at all times and not give cause for others to question our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”Follow @cftalk