UNITED STATES NEWS

Ohio high school football coach resigns after team used racist, antisemitic language during a game

Sep 26, 2023, 10:15 AM

BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio high school football coach resigned Monday after his team used racist and antisemitic language to call out plays during a game last week.

Brooklyn High School coach Tim McFarland and his players repeatedly used the word “Nazi” as a play call in a game against Beachwood High School. Beachwood, a Cleveland suburb, is roughly 90% Jewish, according to the latest survey published in 2011 by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

The Brooklyn team stopped using the term in the second half of the game after Beachwood threatened to pull their players from the field, according to statement from Beachwood Schools Superintendent Robert Hardis. However, several Brooklyn players continued to direct racial slurs at Beachwood players during the game, the statement read.

McFarland handed in his notice of resignation Monday morning. Brooklyn Schools Superintendent Ted Caleris said in a statement that McFarland “expresses his deepest regret” and that he and the school apologize for “hurtful and harmful speech” that will “not be tolerated.”

Caleris also stated that Brooklyn High School has been contacted by the Anti-Defamation League of Ohio and hopes to use them as a resource going forward from the incident.

Hardis confirmed in a statement that the two school districts are in close contact and that Brooklyn has been “appropriately concerned and apologetic.”

“This is not the first time Beachwood student-athletes have been subjected to antisemitic and racist speech,” Hardis also said. “We always hope it will be the last.”

The statements did not mention disciplinary action toward the players involved.

Antisemitism in the United States has risen significantly in recent years, with no signs of declining, according to a study by Tel Aviv University’s Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League. From 2021 to 2022, the number of antisemitic incidents rose by 35%. ___

Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues

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Ohio high school football coach resigns after team used racist, antisemitic language during a game