Oakland A's billboard
Oakland A's billboardiStock

A coach for the Oakland Athletics baseball team has apologized for using a gesture that looked like a Nazi salute to greet players after a team win, CNN reports.

As players reentered the dugout after Thursday's win against the Texas Rangers, bench coach Ryan Christenson raised his arm and flattened his palm.

He then bent his arm to offer an elbow bump to players. Other coaches greeted players with elbow bumps without using the same gesture as Christenson.

Christenson faced criticism after video of the gesture circulated on social media. He later said that while he didn't intend to use a Nazi salute, he "made a mistake and will not deny it," according to a statement released through the team.

“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,” he said.

The Oakland Athletics said it does "not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it."

“We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it,” the team said in a statement. “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.”

The 46-year-old Christenson played six years in the majors from 1998 to 2003. He spent several years coaching in the minors before becoming bench coach for the A’s in 2018.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)