Military investigates suspected 'white power' gesture flashed by cadets, midshipmen during Army-Navy game

PHILADELPHIA -- The military is investigating allegations that students flashed a white supremacist hand gesture to cameras during Saturday's Army-Navy game.

Screenshots from the game's telecast show cadet and midshipmen in the crowd making an "OK" gesture with their hands. The gesture was seen during an ESPN broadcast segment.



While the symbol has many innocuous connotations, the Anti-Defamation League said it became a popular way for right-leaning individuals to troll the left. Ironically, some white supremacists soon participated in such tactics.

"There are white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klansmen who have increasingly begun using the use of the symbol both to signal their presence to the like-minded, as well as to identify potentially sympathetic recruits among young trolling artists flashing it," the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote.

In a statement, West Point said it is "looking into" the matter.

"At this time, we do not know the intent of the cadets," the statement read.

The U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland, said it will conduct an internal investigation.

"Based on findings of the investigation, those involved will be held appropriately accountable. It would be inappropriate to speculate any further while we are conducting this investigation," a spokesperson for the academy said in a statement.

U.S. Coast Guard leaders last year reprimanded an officer who used a similar hand sign during a television broadcast.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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