On Friday morning, an assistant coach for the Oakland Athletics and the team itself released a statement following his insensitive actions.
During a game against the Texas Rangers, bench coach Ryan Christenson made an inappropriate gesture in celebration. He gave an apparent Nazi salute as members of his team came off the field.
Cameras caught Christenson extending his right arm in the air as the team was making its way off the field, engaging in an elbow bump celebration – as has become the norm these days. Closer Liam Hendriks corrected Christenson’s gesture, but not before it looked like he was giving a Nazi salute.
Following the game, was asked about his actions. “No, no straight arm, you have to bend your elbow,” Christenson said Hendriks told him, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Oh, I see what you mean, oh no, it’s like ‘Heil Hitler.'”
Not long after, the Athletics released a statement.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 7, 2020
“A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson greeted player with a gesture that looked like a Nazi salute,” the team said. “We do not support or condone this gesture of the racist sentiment behind it. This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a Club and so many other are working to expose and address racial inequalities in our country. We are deeply sorry that his happened on our playing field.”
“What I did is unacceptable and I deeply apologize,” Christenson said in the statement.