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‘Wakanda Forever’ Greeting Becoming Normal Celebration Sign for Black Athletes

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“Black Panther” has begun influencing athletes. (NBCSN screenshot/Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Black Panther” has been in American theaters for a month but the fever for the unapologetically Black film has not broken.

One of the main hallmarks of the movie was the Wakanda salute, which Wakandans use to greet each other, placing their right, fisted arm over their left in the shape of an “X” in front of their chests.

And now, it’s been adopted by Black athletes from a variety of countries who have been using the gesture to celebrate a score.

Manchester United players Steve Mounie and Collin Quaner appear to be the first pros to adopt the greeting during their Feb. 24 game against West Bromwich Albion and teammates Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba did the same a day later as they played Chelsea.

By Thursday, March 8, tennis pros had adopted the symbolism during matches at Indian Wells. Gaël Monfils of France celebrated his win against Matthew Ebden with the gesture.

“It’s not just a sign. It’s everything. It’s everything going on and definitely it’s a shout-out saying that I’m supporting the Black Panther’s community,” he told reporters Sunday, March 11 per Sport360.

Then, American Sachia Vickery, who is ranked #100 was in disbelief when she won over Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza on Friday, March 9. As someone who is admittedly “obsessed” with the movie, seeing Vickery’s salute should come as no surprise.

“I have watched it twice here,” she told WTA Insider Sunday, March 11. “I may just keep watching it because it’s been working out so well for me.”


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