Comedienne Kathy Griffin on Tuesday deleted a tweet that misinterpreted Covington Catholic basketball players' hand signs and accused students of signaling support for Nazism.
Covington Catholic has been in the news after a video of students from the Kentucky all-boys school in a confrontation with an elderly Native-American man at the March for Life last week went viral. Griffin tweeted several times about the incident, including a call for the minors to be identified and publicly named.
MAGA hats. Donald Trump has brought the worst out in our country. https://t.co/gYSY4YEINA
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 19, 2019
Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 20, 2019
In a now-deleted tweet, Griffin suggested that even the basketball players at Covington are Nazis.
"Covington's finest throwing up the new Nazi sign," she tweeted with an image of the basketball players making an "OK sign."
Griffin is correct that the "OK sign" is often used by the alt-right and white supremacists. However, it is also a common hand gesture in basketball to signal that someone made a three-point shot. Many players of all races make the same gesture.
Griffin's claim came after an aide to then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused by social media users of signaling support for Nazism by making the same hand gesture during a televised hearing. In fact, the woman was signing "OK" to someone off-camera.
The Covington Catholic students were also criticized for an out-of-context photo showing students painted in all black during a basketball game. The New York Daily News reported that the students were "in black face, a mockery of the opposing players." But Snopes, a fact-checking website, found that the black painted faces were part of the school's traditional black-out game and not racially motivated.