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U.S. women’s soccer team player didn’t give Nazi salute

July 16, 2019

CLAIM: Photo shows a member of the U.S. women’s soccer team giving a Nazi salute in front of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo shows soccer player Ashlyn Harris raising her hand in celebration next to her teammates, Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe, as they gathered outside the museum prior to a victory parade in New York City on July 10.

THE FACTS: A photo taken of three U.S. soccer players during a celebratory moment is being shared on social media users with the false claim that Harris offered a Nazi salute in front of a Jewish museum.

“Nazi salute in front of Holocaust Museum! Liberals are the true fascist!” one Facebook post stated. 

The photo shows Harris with her left arm raised high and angled with, her palm open and fingers spread. In a Nazi salute, a person’s right arm is extended to the front, just above the shoulder with the palm facing downward. 

The photo was taken after the Museum of Jewish Heritage hosted a breakfast for players before the ticker-tape parade to celebrate the team’s Women’s World Cup title, said Jeff Simmons, the executive vice president for Anat Gerstein, Inc., a public relations firm that works with the museum.

Simmons said he snapped the image of the three players outside the building prior to the parade kickoff. The three women are wearing sunglasses, black pants and shirts that say “world champions.”  He described them as “incredibly gracious, respectful, and accommodating” during the event.

“I took the photo so know the circumstances,” Simmons said in an email to The Associated Press. “Clearly, this was a sign of victory as if they were on the field, and nothing more. Any suggestion otherwise is ill-intentioned and simply wrong.”

Some U.S. women’s soccer team players have been the target of backlash on social media after President Donald Trump last month accused Rapinoe of “disrespect” in a January interview when she vowed to decline a White House invitation if the soccer team won the world championship.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536


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