Long, long ago, when I was a young man and a member of a collegiate fraternal organization, my fellow housemates and I enjoyed playing something called the Circle Game. The object of the game was simple: One player would place his thumb and index finger together in a circle, in what was then known as the “OK symbol,” and try to get the other player to look at it. The circle had to be below the waist, and there could be no question that the other player looked directly at it. (Usually indicated by the second player quickly looking away and muttering “Damn it” or “Oh, $#!+” or something along those lines.) Various forms of trickery could be employed to divert the second player’s attention to the circle, such as “Oh, you dropped this personal object” or “Is that an insect on your leg?” Then, when the circle-sighting was achieved, the first player got to punch the second player in the shoulder once, and only once. That was it. That was the game. It could be played at any time, in any social setting, and the rules of honor dictated that the second player would submit to the shoulder-punch with a minimum of complaint. To this day, I have no idea who invented the game or what purpose it served. But I played it all the same. The bruises have faded, but the memories live on.
Like I said, that was a long time ago. Since then, some Internet pranksters have managed to convince everybody that the OK symbol is actually some sort of white power signal. I guess the idea of the hoax was to take the most harmless, everyday gesture and trick people into thinking it’s something bad, therefore proving that people are gullible sheep who will believe anything, no matter how ridiculous.
Guess what? It worked!
A Chicago Cubs fan who appeared to flash a “white power” hand gesture behind a black sports reporter while he was on air has been banned from Wrigley Field.
The Cubs sweatshirt-wearing fan’s face couldn’t be seen during the May 7 NBC Sports broadcast of the Cubs’ home game against the Miami Marlins. But his hand, which appeared in a frame behind analyst Doug Glanville, was positioned in the “OK” hand gesture, often associated with the white supremacist movement.
Here’s a picture. Out of consideration for the sensitivities of the audience, NBC has thoughtfully blurred out the offending hand gesture.
Chicago Cubs fan, who appeared to flash a hand gesture that has become associated with white supremacy behind a black sports reporter while he was on air, has been banned from Wrigley Field. https://t.co/c4b8GvqJVI
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 9, 2019
Are you shocked? You should be, because the reporter is black and the Internet says the OK symbol is racist now. Just be glad they didn’t show the unblurred circle, or they’d get to punch you in the shoulder.
Play the Circle Game and they ban you from the stadium. Beat your wife and they let you on the field. God bless America.
A baseball team can ban anybody they want for any reason, no matter how stupid. The news can then propagate that stupidity. And the rest of us can point out how stupid it is. “This commonplace hand gesture is now racist, because I saw a racist make that gesture” is moronic.
Which ordinary gesture will become verboten next? The thumbs-up symbol means “Kill the Jews”? Shrugging means “I love Trump and hate Mexicans”? Smiling means “All Asian people look alike to me”? If everything is racist, then nothing is.
Note to libs everywhere: Not everything is about white supremacy. Not everything is about Hillary Clinton’s abject failure and your thwarted attempts to undo it. Your obsessions are not reality.
Sometimes a circle is just a circle.
By the way, friend… is that an ink stain on your pants?