Report finds historical past of anti-Semitism on highschool soccer workforce within the Boston space
Jewish Journal-Massachusetts on JTA – A Boston High School football team that came under fire earlier this year for using Holocaust and Jewish phrases to name plays – including “Auschwitz,” “Rabbi,” and “Yarmulke” – similar anti-Semites had used the language for at least the past decade.
This was the result of an investigation into the Duxbury High incident, outlined in a summary of the district school principal’s report and published on the school’s website on June 10.
According to the recap from John Antonucci, the team has been titling the plays with anti-Semitic language since at least 2010, using homophobic slurs and profanity on the sidelines, and regularly holding a Catholic mass before the Games for years, which is contrary to the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts constitution – and court rulings that exclude sectarian education in public schools.
The full report could not be released, the Antonucci abstract said due to privacy concerns under state law. The main report focused on the actions of players and coaches, as well as the general culture of the football program, and included interviews with 52 witnesses, including current and former coaches and players, as well as parents, teachers and administrators.
“Duxbury has failed its players and the community by allowing winning games to take precedence over promoting an inclusive environment that is free from prejudice, slander and stereotypes,” said Robert Trestan, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League for New England. “The church services before the game violate the protection of the constitution and ignore the power imbalance between students and their coaches. The systemic problem documented in the report confirms the need for institutional change. “
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Trestan said the ADL is working with district officials while the changes are implemented.
The report was part of an investigation commissioned by the city after school officials learned that a Duxbury player called a play called “Auschwitz” in a March 12 game. Later that month, the school district fired soccer coach Dave Maimaron, who told the Boston Herald that some of the chants were started years ago by Jewish soccer players as a “wink” gesture.
According to the report, “anti-Semitic words and other references to the Holocaust by members of the football program,” including “Rabbi,” “Dreidel,” “Yarmulke” and “Hanukkah,” “were a systemic problem and may have appeared in practice.” as early as 2010. Sufficient credible evidence was found to support the conclusion that coaching staff were aware of the use of such terms during training. “
The report identified several “corrective actions” that the district should implement. This includes review of the sports program and its manual, coaching reviews, and business functions. In addition, a sports advisory board has been set up to review the sports program and make recommendations. Some trainers have participated in diversity, equity and inclusion training programs. A group of coaches and players will also attend a training session from the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University.
“I’m glad the school released a report on the use of anti-Semitic terms by the Duxbury High School football team,” said Karen Wong, a Duxbury resident who is one of an estimated 60 Jews in the small coastal town. “The emotions in the community are high.”
“I was surprised and disappointed to learn that religious prayer and attending mass are built into the culture of a public sports program,” added Wong. “Although participation was optional, it is very difficult for student athletes to opt out of events that are intended as team building.”
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