Basketball players from a private Jewish high school in New York were reported to have been subjected to anti-Semitic taunts by their opponents during a recently cancelled game, including „I support Hamas, you damn Jew“ and „Free Palestine.“ This aggression was reported exclusively by the New York Post.
Robin Bosworth, a senior at Leffell School (Hartsdale, NY), described the first half of her team’s game against Roosevelt High School—a public school in Yonkers—as „a somewhat hostile environment.“
„[S]ignificantly more taunts and comments [were] directed at our team, inflicting more harm to the players on our team than I have experienced in the past,“ she wrote in a comment for her school newspaper „The Lion’s Roar.“
According to Bosworth, who is also the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, a turning point occurred in the third quarter when Roosevelt players „shouted ‚Free Palestine‘ and other anti-Semitic insults and taunts at us.“
According to the New York Public Schools Alliance, a parent-teacher group dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, a Roosevelt player reportedly shouted, „I support Hamas, you damn Jew,“ as reported by the Post.
„I have participated in sports during every season of my high school career, and I have never experienced this kind of hate towards any of my teams before,“ Bosworth wrote.
According to school principal Michael Kay, Leffell’s head coach John Tessitore spoke with his team and decided to end the game prematurely.
„Our team was playing away, and during the course of the game, some players from the opposing team directed hurtful, anti-Semitic comments towards members of our team,“ Kay wrote in a letter to the school community Post.
Roosevelt AD Kyle Calabro apologized and, according to Kay, „follow-up actions will be taken quickly and appropriately,“ as reported by the Post.
The Post also reported that Roosevelt principal Edward DeChent apologized to Kay on Friday, outlining „a series of disciplinary consequences and educational responses,“ including a possible in-person meeting between the two teams.
„I am incredibly proud of the way our players and coaching staff responded to this potentially distressing incident,“ said Kay according to the Post.