University Of Nebraska Changes Mascot's Hand Signal To Avoid White Supremacy Gesture

Herbie Husker cleans up his act.
University of Nebraska T-shirts show old Herbie Husker (on the right) flashing the "OK" sign that has been adopted by white supremacists, and the new reformed Herbie flashing his new "We're No. 1" gesture.
University of Nebraska T-shirts show old Herbie Husker (on the right) flashing the "OK" sign that has been adopted by white supremacists, and the new reformed Herbie flashing his new "We're No. 1" gesture.
via Associated Press

The University of Nebraska has changed the 鈥淥K鈥 hand signal of its 鈥淗erbie Husker鈥 mascot to avoid using the gesture that has been adopted by white supremacists.

The university鈥檚 鈥渃ornhusker鈥 mascot 鈥 a farmer in overalls with a big red cowboy hat 鈥 has been flashing the 鈥淥K鈥 sign for some 50 years. But from now on he鈥檒l hold up a finger signaling 鈥淣o. 1,鈥 the Flatwater Free Press reported Friday.

Lonna Henrichs, the licensing and branding director for the college鈥檚 athletic department, told the newspaper that the university 鈥渕ade that change as quick as we could.鈥

That 鈥渉and gesture could, in some circles, represent something that does not represent what Nebraska athletics is about,鈥 Henrichs added. 鈥淲e just didn鈥檛 even want to be associated with portraying anything that somebody might think, you know, that it means white power.鈥

The athletics department first learned of the 鈥淥K鈥 gesture鈥檚 link to white supremacy when an apparel provider informed officials in 2020 following Black Lives Matter protests, university officials told The Associated Press in a statement.

鈥淭he process of changing the logo began in 2020, and we updated our brand guidelines in July of 2021,鈥 the statement added. The revised logo with the mascot gesturing 鈥渘umber 1鈥 is now the 鈥only Herbie Husker mark available to licensees,鈥 the statement added.

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