Tim McFarland, the head coach of Brooklyn High School’s football team in Ohio, resigned from his position on Monday following an incident in which his team used antisemitic slurs during a match last Friday.
The incident occurred during a game against Beachwood High School, located in a suburb of Cleveland where nearly 90% of the population identifies as Jewish, as per a 2011 survey conducted by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. McFarland’s team repeatedly invoked the term “Nazi” as a play call, a choice attributed to McFarland’s planning.
However, after threats from Beachwood to withdraw their players at halftime due to the use of the derogatory term, Brooklyn High ceased using the term in the latter half of the game. Beachwood Schools Superintendent Robert Hardis commented that while the specific term ceased in the second half, Brooklyn players still directed other offensive remarks towards Beachwood players. Hardis remarked, “It’s distressing that this isn’t the first instance of our student-athletes experiencing antisemitic and racist comments. We remain hopeful each time that it’s the last.”
In response to the incident, Brooklyn Schools Superintendent Ted Caleris issued a statement following McFarland’s resignation. He offered an apology from the school for the “hurtful and unacceptable language” used during the game. Caleris also emphasized the school’s stance that such speech “will not be tolerated.”
Hardis acknowledged that Brooklyn High School has been responsive, expressing appropriate concern and regret. Additionally, the Anti-Defamation League of Ohio has reached out to Brooklyn High to offer guidance and resources moving forward.
As of now, there is no public information regarding any disciplinary actions Brooklyn High may take against the players who used the alleged slurs during the game.
This incident occurs against a concerning backdrop: A recent report from the Anti-Defamation League highlighted a 36% uptick in antisemitic incidents across the U.S. last year, tallying 3,697 events including harassment, vandalism, and assaults targeting Jewish individuals and communities.
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