The "okay" hand gesture is now being interpreted as a racist symbol

A Chicago Cubs fan is being investigated for throwing up an upside down "okay" hand gesture that is being interpreted as a racist "white power" symbol. The fan, threw up the sign behind an African American sideline reporter during the game. It did not take long for the Cubs organization to put out a statement about the incident. President of Business Operations for the Cubs addressed the hand gesture as follows: “Such ignorant and repulsive behavior is not tolerated at Wrigley Field. We are reviewing the incident thoroughly because no one should be subjected to this type of offensive behavior. Any derogatory conduct should be reported immediately to our ballpark staff. Any individual behaving in this manner will not only be removed from the ballpark, but will be permanently banned from Wrigley Field.”

Here is a picture of the reportedly racist gesture:

 

Apparently this upside down "okay" gesture has been appropriated by white supremacists. NBC Sports Chicago spoke about the incident as well saying: "We are disappointed by the incident that took place on our air last evening, one that was at the expense of our colleague Doug Glanville. We find the behavior of this fan reprehensible and clearly does not represent the great Cubs fans of our city and those around the country. We stand by our partners at the Cubs and will support their efforts regarding the investigation of this incident.”

Our big question here is, is this an existing issue of racism or are we making this racist? In other words are we making things racist now or has this been a long time symbol derived from a racist group? There are claims to this sign being used by white supremacists but were those isolated incidents and not an overall meaning behind the symbol? According to an article on the Anti-Defamation League's website, "by 2019, at least some white supremacists seem to have abandoned the ironic or satiric intent behind the original trolling campaign and used the symbol as a sincere expression of white supremacy".

Do you find this a racist symbol or people crying out racism in places it does not exist? Should this Chicago Cubs fan be banned from Wrigley Field as a result?

-Producer Lightning

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