University Of Nebraska Changes Mascot’s ‘OK’ Hand Gesture Because Of ‘White Power’ Concerns

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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The University of Nebraska’s mascot Herbie Husker will no longer flash the “OK” symbol, as some believe the commonly used hand gesture is a nod to white supremacy and is hateful, according to reports.

Herbie Husker has long been depicted as holding up the “OK” symbol with his left hand while his right hand clutches a football. The university, however, has redesigned their mascot, with Herbie Husker now holding up a “number one” symbol instead, CNN reported Saturday.

“The concern about the hand gesture was brought to our attention by our apparel provider and others, and we decided to move forward with a revised Herbie Husker logo,” Nebraska Athletics told CNN in an email. “The process of changing the logo began in 2020, and we updated our brand guidelines in July of 2021.”

Nebraska’s athletic department’s licensing and branding director Lonna Henrichs told the Flatwater Free Press that the hand gesture could “represent something that does not represent what Nebraska athletics is about.”

“We just didn’t even want to be associated with portraying anything that somebody might think, you know, that it means white power,” Henrichs reportedly continued. “We made that change as quick as we could.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) suggests individuals use “caution” when using the “OK” hand symbol, even though “in most contexts [it] is entirely innocuous and harmless.”(RELATED: Tucker Carlson Responds To The ADL Calling For Him To Be Fired: ‘F*ck Them’)

The symbol came under fire in 2017 after a hoax on the website 4chan falsely claimed the symbol really represented the term “white power,” according to ADL.

“The hoax was so successful the symbol became a popular trolling tactic on the part of right-leaning individuals, who would often post photos to social media of themselves posing while making the ‘okay’ gesture,” the ADL said, noting, however, that most people still use the hand symbol in the traditional way and have been “falsely accused of being racist.”