U.S. Military Academy officials are now investigating the possible use of a “white power” or “white supremacist” symbol during the annual Army-Navy football game, which took place Saturday.
The Daily Wire reported Saturday evening that far-left activists and sympathetic members of the mainstream media accused West Point cadets and U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen, standing in formation during the game, of repeatedly flashing “OK” hand signals — a “O” made with the thumb and forefinger — when they were on camera during the event.
One far-left activist started the ball rolling, tweeting that the “presence of the Racist-in-Chief” (President Donald Trump) at the Army-Navy game “emboldened” cadets to share a “white power” symbol on national television. The activist and ardent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) supporter, according to his profile, also shared a clip, recorded off a television, of the actual incident. The clip shows a West Point cadet holding an upside-down “OK” symbol over a fellow cadet’s shoulder.
As an American,
As a Navy Dad,
As a decent human being…
…you hate to see racist West Point cadets emboldened by the presence of the Racist-inChief at an #ArmyNavyGame to throw up the "White Power" sign on national TV.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 14, 2019
Members of the media quickly piled on, as did several anti-racism groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which even shared an “explainer” on social media, demonstrating how the “OK” symbol could be read to indicate “white power.”
Plenty of others on social media responded, pointing out that the cadet was probably playing the “circle game” — which challenges players to throw a “circle” symbol in such a way as to force other players to notice the gesture — and not actually expressing support for “white power.” Others chided the activists, members of the media, and anti-racism groups for falling for a “hoax” perpetrated by key “trolls” and members of 4chan.
A senior White House official called the twitter war a “smear campaign.”
“Former senior White House adviser Cliff Sims wrote: ‘Here we go again. This time it’s @ByMikeBrehm of @usatodaysports trying to ruin the lives of cadets for playing the circle game, because in some alternate reality they just MUST be white supremacists. At some point someone’s gotta bring a defamation case against these lunatics,'” The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra reported Saturday.
Sunday morning, officials with West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy told the Wall Street Journal that they are investigating the incident.
“West Point and Annapolis officials are trying to determine the motives of service academy students who flashed hand signs on national television Saturday that in certain contexts are associated with ‘white power,'” the WSJ reported.
“The hand sign appeared to be displayed both by West Point cadets and Annapolis midshipmen during a broadcast of the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, but U.S. Military Academy officials haven’t yet determined their intent, according to a West Point spokesman. A U.S. Naval Academy spokeswoman said the academy is also checking on the matter,” the outlet continued.
The WSJ’s story makes it appear as though military academy officials were obligated to launch an inquiry, perhaps concerned about fallout. Last year, the story indicates, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard used the symbol on national television, sparking a similar firestorm. That Coast Guard officer received an official reprimand.