The US Naval Academy and US Military Academy announced that their investigations into a hand gesture made by some cadets before last Saturday's Army-Navy game was not intended in the white supremacy sense but rather the Circle Game sense.
"The investigation -- which included review of video footage, more than two dozen interviews, and background checks by Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- determined that two Fourth Class Midshipmen (freshmen) were participating in a sophomoric game, commonly known as 'the circle game,' with West Point Cadets during the live broadcast," the academy said in a statement. "The investigation found no evidence of racist intent."
Academy officials added that, while not racist in intent, the on-camera gestures demonstrated "immature behavior" that would be "appropriately addressed."
The incident occurred on College GameDay during a Rece Davis standup and immediately sparked debate online with everyone super-sure they knew the motivation behind the gesture.
Earlier this year a fan was banned from Wrigley Field for life after a similar event. That decision was reached much more quickly than the Army-Navy one and was far less in-depth. Of course, there is a faction of people who will never believe that there was no ill-intent behind this hand signal. Just as there's a group that can't believe such an investigation was needed.
Two things most can agree on:
One, it's embarrassing that our armed forces were in this firestorm to begin with, even if the least offensive outcome is the one that was realized. Two, it's probably time to retire the Circle Game. Its upside is far outweighed by the unintended negative consequences.