Cubs ban fan for gesture associated with racism

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs said they have identified and now banned the fan who was observed on camera making what appeared to be a hand gesture associated with racism during Tuesday night's broadcast of a home game against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Wearing a gray Cubs sweatshirt and blue pants, the fan made an upside-down "OK" sign near Doug Glanville's head while he was giving a report for NBC Sports Chicago from the stands. The gesture is associated with the juvenile "circle game," where someone tries to trick a friend or sibling into looking at it, then punches them in the shoulder. But the symbol has also become a white supremacy sign.

Glanville, who is black, played nine seasons in the majors, including three with the Cubs. He also is an analyst for ESPN.

In a statement Wednesday, the Cubs said they reviewed the footage and decided that the fan's actions violated the team's guest code of conduct. The team said it is not disclosing the name of the fan.

"It doesn't matter either way,'' Cubs spokesman Julian Green said. "This was bad judgment on the part of the individual. Whether sophomoric behavior or some other stunt, to use that in connection with a respected journalist, who happens to be African American, and doing his job to deliver enjoyment to our fans is ignorant. It has no place [at] Wrigley Field.''

Glanville praised the Cubs' handling of the situation on Wednesday, saying it has "displayed sensitivity as to how the implications of this would affect me as a person of color."

Team president Theo Epstein was adamant about his disgust in seeing the gesture.

"It gave me shivers to watch that," he said Wednesday afternoon. "It's important to send a strong message that this is a place of inclusion. We value diversity. We value inclusion."

In a statement, Major League Baseball noted it has a policy that bans derogatory language and actions at its ballparks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.