A's Bench Coach Ryan Christenson Clarifies Video of Apparent Nazi Salute

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 7, 2020

**  ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, MARCH 18-19 ** Workers affix a green tarp over upper deck seats at McAfee Coliseum Wednesday, March 15, 2006, in Oakland, Calif. By the time the Oakland Athletics open their season against the New York Yankees next month, the team will have strung a tarpaulin over 10,000 of the most unattractive upper-deck seats, reducing McAfee Coliseum to one of the smallest in pro baseball. Counterintuitive as it may sound, the A's, who have struggled with low attendance, hope the removal of the stadium's entire third deck will boost season ticket sales and generate renewed fan loyalty. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
BEN MARGOT/Associated Press

The Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 6-4 on Thursday, and after the game, NBC Sports California cameras appeared to capture A's bench coach Ryan Christenson giving a Nazi salute as the winning team came off the field.

Christenson clarified the gesture and apologized in comments made to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who noted the bench coach typically does a "karate chop" postgame celebration.

Susan Slusser @susanslusser

I just spoke to Ryan Christenson and he said he knew instantly what it was about when David Forst called him because when he had reached out to do the karate chop with Hendriks, Hendriks said “No, no, no straight arm!” and Christenson took a second to realize what he meant.

Susan Slusser @susanslusser

More from Ryan Christenson, who says after Hendriks told him, "No, no straight arm, you have to bend your arm," he turned and said, "Oh, I see what you mean, oh no, it's like 'Heil Hitler,' " which Hendriks backs up. Christenson says, "I apologize for everything."

Christenson and the A's both issued statements Thursday evening:

Oakland A's @Athletics


The 46-year-old has been the A's bench coach since 2018.

Christenson played in the big leagues from 1998-2003 with the A's, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers as an outfielder. He played one season of minor league ball in 2004 before retiring.

The former Pepperdine ballplayer became a manager in the A's organization in 2013. He started in Single-A before moving up to Double-A and finally Triple-A in 2017 before getting the call to the bigs. Christenson guided the Double-A Midland RockHounds to back-to-back league titles in 2015 and 2016.