San Jose State Retires Gesture That Resembles a White Supremacist One

San Jose State University has retired the use of its ‘Spartan Up’ gesture that when signed incorrectly resembles a White supremacist gesture.

“We will retire the use of the ‘Spartan Up’ hand gesture, a recSpartan Headent addition to SJSU’s traditions, which, if done incorrectly, resembles what has become a well-known White Power hand gesture,” said university president Dr. Mary A. Papazian in a statement.

According to a page on the university’s website, the ‘Spartan Up‘ gesture mimics a Spartan head.

“To create a Spartan head with your fingers, form a helmet with your thumb and index finger. Curl remaining three fingers over the top of the helmet, mimicking a feathered plume,” it says.

“We all agree that the gesture has become part of the fabric and footprint of our University, however when the gesture is used improperly, it can be offensive to some members of our University family,” said the university’s athletic director Marie Tuite, in a statement. “When our ‘Spartan Up’ hand gesture was misinterpreted as an ‘okay’ sign and not the proper gesture, the improper sign created a division in our campus community.  It was timely and appropriate to make the decision to no longer use the hand gesture associated with ‘Spartan Up.’”