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Nebraska alters mascot logo, removes ‘OK’ hand gesture to prevent association with white supremacists

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Nebraska’s mascot will no longer make its signature “OK” hand gesture to prevent association with white supremacists, as the gesture was co-opted by racists to signal white power. Going forward, Herbie Husker will show support by raising its index finger to signal “No. 1.” 

The new Herbie Husker logo will now be the only one available on licensed Nebraska gear, a move the Huskers made “as quick as we could” to distance themselves from white supremacists. 

“The concern about the hand gesture was brought to our attention by our apparel provider and others, and we decided to move forward with a revised Herbie Husker logo,” Nebraska Athletics said in a statement, per the AP.

Herbie Husker began making the “OK” hand gesture in the early 1970s by connecting the tips of its thumb and index finger while keeping its other three fingers straight.  The gesture took a far different meaning in 2017, however, as white supremacists started using it to signal “wp” or “white power” at far-right rallies and, later, at the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol attack. 

Nebraska began changing the logo in 2020 and updated its brand guidelines last July in response to the negative trend. 

“That hand gesture could, in some circles, represent something that does not represent what Nebraska Athletics is about,” Nebraska Athletics licensing and branding director Lonna Henrichs told the Flatwater Free Press. “We just didn’t even want to be associated with portraying anything that somebody might think, you know, that it means white power.”



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