Ryan Christenson Apologizes For ‘Unintentionally’ Mimicking Nazi Salute While Congratulating Players

Ryan Christenson coach of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait at the Oakland Athletics Spring Training Facility
Rob Tringali / Getty Images

Oakland Athletics‘ Ryan Christenson issued an apology on Thursday after he was caught on video gesticulating in a way that onlookers said appeared to be quite similar to the Nazi salute. A video surfaced online not long after Christenson performed the arm motion. Some wondered if they were really seeing what they thought they were seeing, while others were quite confident they knew exactly what the motion was supposed to be.

Not long after a clip of the incident went viral, Christenson issued an apology. The A’s also made it clear they weren’t happy with what he had done. Both statements were posted on Twitter.

“I made a mistake and will not deny it,” Christenson said in the statement. “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.”

He added that the gesture unintentionally resulted in a horrible salute that he does not believe in. He also said he apologized for what he had done and said he understood it was unacceptable.

The A’s stated that they did not support or condone the motion Christenson made. The team said it found the gesture offensive, especially during a period of time when so many people are working through the social justice issues that have been put front and center in the country.

Kyle Koster of The Big Lead wrote that the situation stuck out to him because of how it unfolded. Christenson was celebrating the Athletics’ victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday when he “fixed his arm in a Nazi salute.” Koster added that the first player who came across the coach doing it seemed to alert him to it right away. Pitcher Liam Hendricks can be seen saying something to Christenson and then bending his arm.

Koster added Christenson was seen laughing about it, before turning around and doing it again.

Radio host Troy Hughes of 105.3 The Fan posted a video of the incident on Twitter. Hughes said he believed it was likely the last time the coach was going to be a member of the franchise. In fact, he stated he believed it was the last day Christenson was going to be able to be affiliated with Major League Baseball.

Since Christenson issued the apology and the A’s put out their statement, there hasn’t been any mention of a suspension or firing. The team hasn’t said if it will take any further action.