- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Comedian Kathy Griffin found out the hard way that what appears to be a “Nazi” to political activists might just be a bunch of kids enjoying a basketball game.

Celebrity activists had various reasons for accusing Covington Catholic High School of racism after student Nick Sandmann’s face-to-face encounter with Native American activist Nathan Phillips at the March for Life last week, but two, in particular, were humorous to sports fans.

Ms. Griffin disseminated false claims regarding three-point shots and “blackout” stunts while sharing them with over 2 million Twitter followers.

“Covington’s finest throwing up the new Nazi sign,” she wrote in a now-deleted tweet on Tuesday, Twitchy reported.

The image attached was of an old basketball game in which students flashed an established acknowledgment of a three-point shot.

Similarly, she maintained that a “blackout” basketball game from 2011 — the tradition has occurred at multiple sporting events for years — was somehow proof of “blackface” racist taunting.

“TRUE! FACT CHECK: Is This Picture from a Covington Catholic High School Basketball Game? TRUE, TRUE, TRUE,” she said while sharing a SNOPES “fact check.”

PJ Media noted Tuesday that articles about “blackout” games were reported by mainstream media outlets since at least 2008.

“For sports fans, black is the new white,” The New York Times wrote in October 2008 after a Chicago White Sox baseball game. “Several teams have promoted ‘blackouts,’ urging fans to dress a bit like Johnny Cash in an attempt to create an intimidating atmosphere, build camaraderie and, basically, look cool for television viewers.”

Mr. Phillips initially told reporters that he was mocked by the students, although extended footage of the incident vindicated the Covington Catholic boys.

A group of activists called the students “crackers” and “incest kids,” among other epithets, before Mr. Phillips approached them and began beating his drum in Mr. Sandmann’s face.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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