The Chicago Cubs banned a fan that used a symbol they’ve erroneously associated with a symbol for ‘white power’ or racism.
The fan was spotted on camera making the gesture behind Doug Glanville, an NBC Sports Chicago reporter who also happens to be African-American.
According to NBC, the guilty party had his hand “positioned in the ‘OK’ gesture,” something they claim is “often associated with the white supremacist movement.”
They said this without evidence and even blurred the man’s hand out when showing the image.
The symbol has never accurately been associated with racism, but has long been a symbol indicating someone is ‘OK’ or has been part of something called the ‘Circle Game,’ a challenge meant to get someone to look so they can be punched.
Chicago Cubs fan, who appeared to flash a hand gesture that has become associated with white supremacy behind a black sports reporter while he was on air, has been banned from Wrigley Field. https://t.co/c4b8GvqJVI
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 9, 2019
A quick Google search will show many prominent African-American athletes and stars making the same gesture for various reasons – including former president Barack Obama.
It’s a Hoax
The best part about this is that NBC, despite blurring out the symbol and claiming it’s a ‘white power’ gesture, admits later in the story that the whole thing is a hoax.
According to the report, it “stems from a hoax by members of the website 4chan to ‘falsely promote the gesture as a hate symbol.'”
The Cubs have banned a fan for life for trying to make you look so he can punch you in the arm. The country has gone absolutely insane. pic.twitter.com/WVizOnwixX
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) May 9, 2019
NBC adds that the ADL has stated: “The hoaxers hoped ‘the media and liberals would overreact by condemning a common image as white supremacist.'”
The network and the Chicago Cubs bought it hook, line, and sinker.
Theo Epstein is Ignorant
Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs, issued a statement which shows the depth of his ignorance on the matter.
“The incident last night is truly disgusting,” Epstein told reporters. “It gave me shivers to watch that, to see that take place at Wrigley Field.
“The person responsible for that gesture will never be welcomed back at Wrigley Field,” he concluded.
For his part, Glanville issued a statement praising the Cubs for trying to “uphold an inclusive environment at Wrigley Field” and understanding “the implications of [how] this would affect me as a person of color.”
Glanville, Epstein, the Chicago Cubs, and Major League Baseball owe this fan an apology.