Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Marcos Giron Apologizes for Hand Gesture, Says He Was Unaware of Alternate Meaning


What should have been cause for celebration left some tennis fans unsettled when Marcos Giron flashed a questionable hand signal to his box after his epic five-set win over Frenchman Quentin Halys earlier today at Roland Garros. (An American winning on red clay doesn't just happen every day.) User MadAnthonyWayne tweeted this photo -- asking "Did Marcos Giron just go full 'White Power' after his match?" -- and copied the accounts of the USTA, Tennis Channel, Roland Garros, ESPN as well as some sports journalists. 

I wasn't sure what to make of it. But as I said when J.J. Wolf was photographed doing the same, if he's not flashing the ADL-recognized "white power" symbol then what was he trying to communicate?

Giron quickly got in touch with me to address the issue, writing: 
I just saw your message on Twitter and would like to apologize for what I did. I had no idea what that symbol represents. I really hope this is not taken the wrong way at all. Im really really sorry. It’s been a game with the coach to try and get one another to look at the hand. Whoever looks at the hand loses. It’s an inside joke. Once again I’m not at all a Alt right supporter. Im a big support of BLM. Please I really hope that it is not taken the wrong way. There was zero intention of anything Malice. 

Fearing that I was being gaslighted -- my 17-year-old nephew confirmed that kids play the “circle game” but even he knew the signal had a darker connotation -- I pushed back, asking Marcos if he'd really not heard about J.J.'s incident and his subsequent apology. 

Marcos replied: 
I’m sorry but I really didn’t see the post. If I did and saw the hand gesture he made I would never do such a thing. The last thing I ever intended was to make any sort of racial gesture. The systemic issues going on in the states with inequality, the divide and the police corruption going on makes me sick to my stomach. The George Floyd killing, Breonna Taylor and the countless others are horrible and there needs to be a change. This was a learning moment and the last thing I ever wanted to do was the offend anyone. Once again I’m sorry for what I did. 
Unlike J.J., this young man seems to acknowledge that at the very least it was tone deaf to celebrate in such a fashion given what he (now) knows. I still don't really understand why grown men would be playing any kind of game on court after an exhausting tennis match, but I'm willing to take him at his word until I have reason not to. 

Here's hoping we won't be seeing any additional players making gestures that can be misconstrued in this hateful way. The USTA still really needs to do some work here -- starting with racial sensitivity training for all U.S. players.

The Quad Squad: J.J. Wolf and Marcos Giron


Richard said...

It’s always a “game”. What are you, 5 years old? Also, please learn some GD punctuation.

Anonymous said...

Im not following, what is always a "game"?

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@Sean: Read Marcos’s explanation.

Anonymous said...

Got it, thanks. Thought maybe it was directed at you. The response that "I didnt know what that meant" holds no water anymore.

tmpr said...

Yeah, utter gaslighting bull crap. Does he live in a media free world?

Rix said...

just a question: isn't the WP gesture with the fingers pointing up?

His hand is in one of the more classic positions because you can shame the guy with "Are a f-g why you lokin' at my d--k?" and also give them a charlie horse.

BTW you all must of been very mature because that game was played well into HS around here in the 80's.

Jefe said...

I doubt this was a "White Power" sign, as Marcos is Hispanic American.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@Jefe: Perhaps. But how do you explain George Zimmerman or Stephen Miller, for that matter.

Unknown said...

Well even if he didn’t intend it, it IS a white power symbol so educate him.

KC said...

This is stupid. Marco is a nice guy and the idea that he would be flashing a white power sign for even a second while cameras are all over him is stupid. Do you honestly think he would risk any of his endorsements especially after half of his tennis career has been spent rehabbing and overcoming injury? Look at any of his interviews he is a very kind and polite guy. There are definitely a couple of American men's tennis players that wouldn't surprise me (I'm looking at you Isner and Sandgren) but they also have a history of posting inflammatory tweets.