The U.S. Military Academy at West Point announced Friday that an internal investigation cleared cadets accused of flashing a “white power” symbol on national television.
“We investigated this matter thoroughly,” Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, 60th superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, said according to a news release. “Last Saturday we had reason to believe these actions were an innocent game and not linked to extremism, but we must take allegations such as these very seriously. We are disappointed by the immature behavior of the cadets.”
The Naval Academy also determined that the men were not flashing “white power” symbol, CBS News reported. They were playing the “circle game,” where a person makes the “okay” symbol below another’s waist. If someone else looks at the symbol, the person making it can punch the other person.
Cadets are supposed to be our best and brightest. And this guy flashes a White Power symbol on TV. And over the shoulder of his fellow cadet of color. A disgraceful sign of the era. https://t.co/PghoSeNbb5
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) December 15, 2019
The incident occurred during the Dec. 14 Army-Navy football game and the symbol was streamed on national television. Army cadets and a Navy midshipman could be seen making the “okay” sign behind ESPN reporter Rece Davis during a live segment. President Donald Trump also attended the game. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rece Davis Breaks Down Army-Navy Game)
This symbol has been adopted by white supremacists because the shape forms the letters “w” and “p,” according to CBS News. Video of the symbol being flashed went viral during the weekend of the game.
The cadets will receive “appropriate administrative and/or disciplinary actions,” according to the university.