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Army prepares to snap the ball against Navy during the Army-Navy game in Dec. 2018. Photo: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

An internal investigation has determined that two West Point cadets and a Naval Academy midshipman who displayed hand gestures in the stands on ESPN's pre-game coverage of the Army-Navy football game on Dec. 14 were playing a known game and did not have racist intentions, West Point Public Affairs announced on Friday.

Details: The “OK” hand gesture is the same as a symbol used by white supremacists to "signal their presence to the like-minded, as well as to identify potentially sympathetic recruits among young trolling artists flashing it," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The sign took on the new meaning around 2017 when it was co-opted by online trolls and later white supremacists, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

What they're saying: West Point says the students were playing the popular "circle game," in which someone makes a circle with their hand and holds it below their waist in an attempt to get another person to look at it.

  • "We are disappointed by the immature behavior of the cadets,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams of West Point.
  • West Point said the cadets will "receive appropriate administrative and/or disciplinary actions."

Go deeper: Trump touts at Army-Navy game pro sports policy for military athletes

Go deeper

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
10 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

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