Possible 'white power' hand signs at Army-Navy game probed

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Army and Navy academies are looking into hand signs flashed by students that can be associated with “white power" and were televised during the Army-Navy football game on Saturday, school officials said.

Cadets at West Point and midshipmen at the Naval Academy in the stands both appeared to display the sign during the broadcast, officials with the two military academies told The Wall Street Journal. The gesture was seen during an ESPN broadcast segment.

School officials are trying to determine what the hand signals were meant to convey, they said.

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The 119th playing of the Army-Navy football game
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The 119th playing of the Army-Navy football game
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: A formation of Navy F/A-18 Hornets flies over on December 8, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. in the 119th Army Navy Game. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump tosses the coin before the Army-Navy NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Army Black Knights display a Go Army Sign during the Army-Navy game on December 8, 2018, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia,PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump attends the annual Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2018. - Trump officiated the coin toss at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia between the Army Black Knights of the US Military Academy (USMA) and the Navy Midshipmen of the US Naval Academy (USNA). (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: United States Naval Academy Midshipmen cheer during a game between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Army Black Knights walk in formation during the Army-Navy game on December 8, 2018, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia,PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Apache helicopters fly over the stadium during the Army-Navy game on December 8, 2018, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia,PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Th Navy Midshipmen run on to the field on December 8, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. for the start of the 119th Army Navy Game. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Navy Midshipmen quarterback Garret Lewis (7) pitches the ball to Navy Midshipmen running back Malcolm Perry (10) during the football game between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen on December 08, 2018 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Army Black Knights quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. (8) charges up the middle during the football game between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen on December 08, 2018 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Army Black Knights defensive back Jaylon McClinton (7) intercepts a first quarter pass against the Navy Midshipmen on December 8, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. in the 119th Army Navy Game. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Army Black Knights running back Kell Walker (5) is tackled for a loss by a host of Navy Midshipmen during the Army-Navy game on December 8, 2018, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia,PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Army Black Knights face off with Navy Midshipmen during the Army-Navy game on December 8, 2018, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia,PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Navy Midshipmen fullback James Harris II (41) waves a towel during the Army-Navy game on December 8, 2018, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia,PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Luke McCleery #68 of the Army Black Knights reacts after an interception against the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: James Nachtigal #19 of the Army Black Knights on the bench during a game against the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: James Nachtigal #19 of the Army Black Knights on the bench during a game against the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Keoni-Kordell Makekau #28 of the Navy Midshipmen is tackled by Javhari Bourdeau #8 of the Army Black Knights at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Tre Walker #21 of the Navy Midshipmen reacts after Navy scores a touchdown against the Army Black Knights at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Army Black Knights quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. (8) scores on a 1 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Navy Midshipmen on December 8, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. in the 119th Army Navy Game. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump attends the annual Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2018. - Trump officiated the coin toss at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia between the Army Black Knights of the US Military Academy (USMA) and the Navy Midshipmen of the US Naval Academy (USNA). (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 08: Mike Martin #34 of the Navy Midshipmen is unable to catch the pass as Kenneth Brinson #56 of the Army Black Knights defends at Lincoln Financial Field on December 08, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Army Black Knights defensive lineman Wunmi Oyetuga (91) puts his arm around Army Black Knights defensive lineman Kwabena Bonsu (97) following the game against the Navy Midshipmen on December 8, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. in the 119th Army Navy Game. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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“We’re looking into it,” Lt. Col. Chris Ophardt, a spokesperson for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York, told the Journal. “I don’t know what their intention is.”

“We are aware and will be looking into it,” said Cmdr. Alana Garas, a spokesperson for the U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Pentagon didn’t immediately respond to the Journal's request for comment.

The hand sign is similar to the one often used to indicate “OK,” but the Anti-Defamation League says it has lately been used as an extremist meme, in part because of its ambiguity.

U.S. Coast Guard leaders last year reprimanded an officer who used a similar hand sign during a television broadcast.

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