Oakland A's bench coach Ryan Christenson says he "made a mistake" by throwing up a Nazi salute TWICE during Thursday's game against the Rangers ... insisting it was unintentional.
"I made a mistake and will not deny it," Christenson said in a statement.
A clear Nazi salute from Oakland @Athletics bench coach Ryan Christenson today. His apology does not suffice.pic.twitter.com/wAtP6TDuy5— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) August 7, 2020
A clear Nazi salute from Oakland @Athletics bench coach Ryan Christenson today. His apology does not suffice.pic.twitter.com/wAtP6TDuy5
Christenson made the salute while greeting players in the dugout at the end of the game. You can see pitcher Liam Hendriks trying to correct Christenson's salute into an "elbow bump" position.
But, R.C. eventually went back to the Nazi salute one more time.
Christenson says the whole thing was born out of an attempt to be more COVID-conscious.
"Today in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world today of [COVID-19] 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 is unacceptable, and I deeply apologize."
The A's acknowledged the move looked like a Nazi salute and apologized as well.
"We do not support or condone this gesture, or the racist sentiment behind it."
The team added, "This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a [club] and many others are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country."