Cubs Ban Fan Who Flashed White Power Gesture Behind Sideline Reporter
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
May 9, 2019
Team officials with the Chicago Cubs acted quickly after a fan was spotted flashing a racist gesture during Tuesday night's broadcast against the Miami Marlins.
According to a statement provided by team president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein, the fan seen flashing the gesture behind sideline reporter Doug Glanville, who is black, was quickly identified and banned for life from Wrigley Field.
"We have investigated the incident that occurred at Wrigley Field on May 7, 2019, where an individual was observed on camera using an offensive hand gesture that is associated with racism. The long-standing Chicago Cubs Guest Code of Conduct is in place to ensure a safe, comfortable and enjoyable environment for all fans and prohibits unacceptable behavior. After a review of last night's broadcast footage, we concluded this individual's actions violated the Guest Code of Conduct.
"As a result, after repeated attempts to reach this individual by phone, we sent a letter to the individual notifying him of our findings and our decision that, effectively immediately, he will not be permitted on the grounds of Wrigley Field or other ticketed areas indefinitely," the statement read.
Officials said that if the individual attempted to gain access to Wrigley Field, he could be subject to prosecution for criminal trespass.
The bearded fan could be seen holding an upside-down "OK" sign - which has been adopted by white nationalists - behind Glanville's head during the broadcast Tuesday night. The gesture is also sometimes associated with the "circle game" in which someone tries to trick people into looking at them making a similar hand gesture. However, team officials met and decided the fan's intent was used in a "racist way."
Glanville released a statement on Wednesday, thanking the Chicago Cubs for acting so quickly in banning the fan who flashed the gesture.
"I applaud the responsiveness of both the Chicago Cubs organization and NBC Sports in investigating the matter. They have reached out to me and are supportive of my role in the broadcast and continue to have a desire to uphold an inclusive environment at Wrigley Field. They have displayed sensitivity as to how the implications of this would affect me as a person of color," Glanville wrote.
Wrigley Field has struggled with a reputation in the league as being racist. Most recently, Major League Baseball has had to investigate a series of racist messages that were directed to Cubs pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. via social media.
Photo: Getty Images