The bench coach of the Oakland Athletics, Ryan christenson, apologized for raising his arm during a post-game celebration in what looked like a Nazi salute.
Christenson made the gesture while waving to closer Liam Hendriks after the Athletics’ 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday.
Hendriks immediately pushed Christenson’s arm down and cameras showed him laughing and briefly raising his arm a second time.
Christenson faced criticism after video of the gesture circulated on social media.
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“I made a mistake and I will not deny it,” Christenson said in a statement released through the team. “Today on the bench I greeted the players with an offensive gesture. In today’s world of Covid, I adapted our elbow strike, which we do after wins, to create some distance from the players. My gesture inadvertently resulted in a horrible, racist greeting that I don’t believe in. What I did is unacceptable and I deeply apologize. “
.s called the gesture “offensive” and apologized for it.
We take this time to introduce you to Oakland A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson … who likely saw his last day on an MLB field
W … T … F?!?! (@ 1053TheFan @ 1053SS @RJChoppy) pic.twitter.com/RlNbeRgjeo
– T̷R̷O̷Y̷ ̷H̷U̷G̷H̷E̷S̷ (@TommySledge) August 7, 2020
“We do not support or tolerate this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it,” the team said in a statement. “This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we, as a club and so many others, are working to expose and address racial inequalities in our country. We are deeply sorry that this has happened on our playing field. “
Christenson, 46, played six years in the majors between 1998 and 2003. He later spent several years coaching in the minors before becoming a bench coach for the Athletics in 2018.