Ryan Christenson Fired By Oakland A’s For Nazi Salute?
Ryan Christenson will be fired by the Oakland A’s for his Nazi salute on Thursday night.
The bench coach made the bizarre decision to greet closer Lian Hendriks with the gesture following his team’s 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers this week.
Hendriks seemed to try to push Christenson’s arm down, but the cameras still clearly caught what he was doing.
— @laaabaseball (@laaabaseball) August 7, 2020
Video of the incident immediately went viral.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) August 7, 2020
Ryan Christenson Comes Out With An Apology
Shortly after the clip spread across social media, Christenson came out with an apology for his actions.
“I made a mistake and will not deny it,” he said.
“Today in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world today 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 is unacceptable and I deeply apologize.”
The organization issued a similar apology.
“We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it,” the statement read.
“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.”
At this point, it is difficult to see a scenario where Christenson is not fired. This was not a misguided prank-gone-wrong or basic ignorance as to the implications of a particular gesture. The bench coach seemed to clearly know what he was doing – as indicated by his own admission.
‘INCREDIBLY OFFENSIVE’: @Athletics coach Ryan Christenson has apologized for raising his arm during a postgame celebration in what looked like a Nazi salute. The team has also issued an apology of their own. https://t.co/1z0QvkP7YX
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) August 7, 2020
The Desean Jackson controversy was bad, but at least the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver could claim lack of knowledge. No such excuse exists for Christenson. He has to go.