Here’s a nice story (pdf) about two baseball players, Pee Wee Reese standing by Jackie Robinson in the face of racist fan-abuse.

Reese’s action unites the two levels of gesture: first in the narrow sense there is the actual action of ‘standing by someone’, a simple form-meaning pair of standing beside someone and embracing his shoulders that means to communicate ‘I am with you/this person’, this is the gesture-simple. Second, there is the high-level message. The act in it’s context: a white player showing his support for a black player who faces racism in a sport that was then (1947) considered ‘white’, in a racist society. The meaning: “I (PW Reese) admire Robinson as a man and a ballplayer and do not tolerate this racism” or “The Dodgers will stand together” or whatever the reader makes of it (there is a larger beholder’s share at a higher level, I think). This second act-meaning pair is the gesture-complex.