The statement issued after Oakland A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson has made a racist gesture

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Oakland Athletics bench coach Ryan Christenson apologized in an official statement on Thursday after video circulated of him raising a stiff arm above his head – appearing to make a Nazi salute before elbow bumping players – following the A’s 6-4 win over the Rangers.

Christenson said he did not intentionally make a Nazi salute. Here’s the full statement:

“I made a mistake and will not deny it. 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 was unacceptable and I deeply apologize. ”

“Obviously I was doing that intentionally,” Christenson told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser after the game. “I just blacked out, my mind wasn’t there and I spaced out. I’m sure it looks terrible. I did it, but it was not intentional. I don’t know what more to say.”

The A’s also responded with a statement:

“A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson greeted players with a gesture that looked like a Nazi salute. We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it. 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. “

Christenson, 46, played parts of six seasons at the major-league level, including with the A’s from 1998–2001. After retiring as a player, he joined Oakland’s minor league system as a manager. This is Christenson’s third season at the MLB level after he was named bench coach under manager Bob Melvin for the 2018 MLB season.