After video emerged of A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson raising a stiff right arm above his head twice following the team’s win Thursday over the Rangers, Christenson said he did not intentionally make a Nazi salute.
As closer Liam Hendriks walked toward the home dugout following his save, Christenson waited for him with his arm locked upward. Hendriks forcibly moved the coach’s arm down as he passed before Christenson again struck the position on his way off the field.
Christenson told San Francisco Chronicle beat reporter Susan Slusser that general manager David Forst called him after the game to ask about the gesture. Christenson said he understood his motion “looks terrible.”
“Obviously I wasn’t doing that intentionally,” Christenson told Slusser. “I just blacked out, my mind wasn’t there and I spaced out. I’m sure it looks terrible. I did it but it was not intentional. I don’t know what more to say.”
Hendriks is known to celebrate with teammates following saves by using a chop handshake, but what Christenson did does not align with the mechanics of the gesture.
Christenson, in his third season as Oakland’s bench coach, was considered a candidate for several vacant managerial positions this past offseason..
The A’s have yet to respond to a request for comment about Christenson’s postgame gesture.
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