Ryan Christenson and the radio silence of the Oakland A’s

After Ryan Christenson inadvertently gave a Nazi salute on Thursday – twice – there has been radio silence from the Oakland A’s.

On Thursday, Oakland A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson caused an uproar when he inadvertently gave a Nazi salute during the handshake line following their victory over the Texas Rangers. Closer Liam Hendriks quickly bent Christenson’s arm so they could bump elbows, seemingly ending that issue. Then Christenson did it again as he was leaving the diamond.

As an uproar began over the gesture, the A’s and Christenson put forth a joint statement. Christenson was apologetic, stating that the gesture was an accident and a momentary lapse in judgment. The A’s stated that racism and such gestures were intolerable. The statements were nothing shocking, and what was expected.

But it was also expected that there would be more to come. Players, former teammates, and coaches have all come forth in support of Christenson, saying that was not the person they know. While that may be the case, it does not excuse what happened.

Since that point, there has been radio silence. Instead of a statement about what consequences Christenson would face, there has been nothing. It is almost as though the A’s want to sweep this issue under the rug, to remain quiet until there is something else to distract the fanbase. Ramon Laureano‘s run-in with the Astros bench was just that.

This does not go with the A’s mission statement for this year. They have attempted to position themselves at the forefront of the equality movement, with their weekly chats on race and support of Tony Kemp‘s plan to further the conversation. Silence over Christenson’s actions does not support that stance.

By all accounts, that gesture and those few seconds do not show the person that Christenson is. And he should not be crucified for what, by all accounts, was a mistake that he realized after the fact. But the silence since that statement will only add fuel to the fire, especially after former player Cody Decker shared his anti-Semitic experiences while he was in the game.

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Silence will not make Ryan Christenson’s unfortunate gestures go away. The Oakland A’s are failing themselves, and their coach, by refusing to address that incident further.