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Investigators Find No Racist Intent Behind Hand Gestures By Midshipmen, Cadets At Army-Navy Game

December 20th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Military officials found no evidence of racist intent in hand gestures made by U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen during an ESPN broadcast for the Army-Navy Game on Dec. 14, the academy said in a statement.

The investigation by the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service included the review of video footage, more than two dozen interviews and background checks. Investigators determined that two freshmen were playing what's commonly known as "the circle game" with West Point cadets.

“We are confident the hand gestures used were not intended to be racist in any way. However, we are disappointed by the immature behavior of the two Fourth Class Midshipmen, and their actions will be appropriately addressed," Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck. said in a statement. "The Naval Academy is fully committed to preparing young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps; in this case, we recognize there is more work to be done."

The Navy investigation also made a number of recommendations to better coordinate and screen midshipmen who may be in high visibility areas for major events such as the game day. And it said there should be more training for the students on how they should conduct themselves.

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