A Chicago Cubs fan at the game Tuesday night against the Miami Marlins could be banned from Wrigley Field for life if the home team ever catches up to him. While fans are often caught on camera at MLB games waving and making various gestures, one in particular has raised the ire of viewers and the team, reports the Washington Post: an apparent white-power sign flashed behind black commentator Doug Glanville, a former player who now commentates for NBC Sports Chicago. As Glanville spoke on camera, a fan's hand entered the frame and made an upside-down "OK" sign right next to Glanville's head, where it stayed until the camera cut away. People took notice immediately, noting how the sign has been appropriated by white supremacy groups as a racist one, with the fingers meant to show a "W" and "P" for "white power."
The Post notes the gesture doesn't always have racist undertones, with interpretations including its use as a troll to "trigger" people, and also as part of a game invented in the '80s. However, per the Southern Poverty Law Center, the gesture has "now become ubiquitous at far-right gatherings ... making it nearly impossible to untangle its ironic use from those meaning it as a straightforward slur." In context, Tuesday night's gesture didn't seem innocuous, and the Cubs have responded. "An individual seated behind Mr. Glanville used what appears to be an offensive hand gesture that is associated with racism," reads a statement from a team executive, who notes an investigation is ongoing. "Such ignorant and repulsive behavior is not tolerated at Wrigley Field. ... Any individual behaving in this manner will not only be removed from the ballpark, but will be permanently banned." (Read more Chicago Cubs stories.)