Oakland bench coach apologises for offensive gesture

(Reuters) - Oakland Athletics bench coach Ryan Christenson has apologised after making a gesture which the Major League Baseball team said “looked like a Nazi salute” following Thursday’s 6-4 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Christenson raised his arm to make the gesture as players walked off the field. Pitcher Liam Hendriks pushed Christenson’s hand down and bumped his forearm, before the 46-year-old coach turned around and raised his arm a second time.

"I made a mistake and will not deny it," Christenson said in a statement here on Twitter.

“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 apologise.”

The team said in the statement they were deeply sorry over the incident.

“This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a club and so many other are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country,” they said.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford