An investigation revealed that there was no intent of racism after multiple cadets from the US Naval Academy and US Military Academy at West Point were seen throwing upside down “okay” symbols that have been associated with white power.
The symbol is commonly used in the “circle game,” which was the reported intent of the cadets at the recent Army Navy Game. The Navy probe found that the students were “participating in a sophomoric game,” NBC reports.
Navy officials also told outlets that they were disappointed by the behavior that the student’s actions “will be appropriately addressed.” It is not clear at this time what kind of punishment the students will be facing as a result of their actions.
NBC reports that the Navy, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the FBI performed background checks, reviewed the footage, interviewed cadets, and determined that two freshmen were playing the circle game with West Point Cadets.
Navy Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations told NBC, “To be clear, the Navy does not tolerate racism in any form,”
Gilday continued, “And while the investigation determined there was no racist intent behind these actions, our behavior must be professional at all times and not give cause for others to question our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”
West Point’s investigation yielded similar results. It was reported that the cadets were playing the “circle game.”
“We must be mindful of behavior which brings that trust into question and ensure out actions meet the high ethical and professional standards our nation expects the American Soldiers to uphold,” chief of staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville said in a statement.
The cadets will also face disciplinary actions as a result of the viral moment.
NBC reported that in 2018, an officer with the U.S. Coast Guard was suspended for showing the symbol during a Hurricane Florence television broadcast.