University of Nebraska updates Herbie Husker mascot to change hand gesture associated with white supremacy

Nebraska Cornhuskers mascot Herbie Husker at a game in 2015.

(CNN)The University of Nebraska has changed its mascot's hand gesture after more than 47 years, the university said, after the traditional one became associated with racist groups.

The Herbie Husker mascot changed from making what appears to be an "OK" hand gesture with his thumb and forefinger forming an O, to one with his index finger raised in a "number one" gesture.
The "OK" hand symbol is listed on the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) website as having been co-opted as a "racist" hand sign.
"The concern about the hand gesture was brought to our attention by our apparel provider and others, and we decided to move forward with a revised Herbie Husker logo," Nebraska Athletics said in an email to CNN.
"The process of changing the logo began in 2020, and we updated our brand guidelines in July of 2021. The revised logo is now the only Herbie Husker mark available to licensees," the university said.
Herbie Husker made his first appearance in 1974 on the school's media guide, according to the university.
While the ADL does say, "Use of the okay symbol in most contexts is entirely innocuous and harmless," recent uses of the gesture has had links to white supremacy.
"In 2017, the 'okay' hand gesture acquired a new and different significance thanks to a hoax by members of the website 4chan to falsely promote the gesture as a hate symbol, claiming that the gesture represented the letters 'wp,' for 'white power,'" the ADL website says.
Herbie Husker was named National Mascot of the year in 2005, according to the university.