Oakland Athletics bench coach Ryan Christenson clarified a gesture he made during Thursday’s game against the Texas Rangers.
Christenson was accused of making a Nazi salute while greeting players in the dugout, but claimed he made a “mistake” in a statement released on the A’s Twitter account. Christenson typically does a “karate chop” post-game celebration, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Seeing some consternation over Ryan Christenson’s postgame celebration gesture – he typically does a karate chop. That’s what he was getting ready to do, from what I can tell.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 7, 2020
“I made a mistake and will not deny it,” Christenson said in his statement. “Today in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world of Covid, I adapted our elbow bump, which we do after wins, to create some distance with the players. My gesture unintentionally resulted in a racist and horrible salute that I do not believe in. What I did was unacceptable and I deeply apologize.” (RELATED: Oakland Athletics Sign Fan Who Threw 96 MPH During Stadium’s Pitch-Speed Challenge)
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) August 7, 2020
The A’s also released a statement Thursday.
“A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson greeted players with a gesture that looked like a Nazi salute,” the released statement from the team said. “We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it. This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a Club and so many others are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country. We are deeply sorry that this happened on our playing field.”