A Yonkers high school girls basketball coach was fired and a player on the team was kicked off the squad as a result of an antisemitic incident that occurred during a game against a Jewish high school, city officials told the New York Post.
A game between the Leffell School, a private Jewish school in Hartsdale, New York, and Roosevelt High School, a public school in Yonkers, ended early on Thursday after Roosevelt players said antisemitic slurs at their opponents. Some of those slurs allegedly included, “I support Hamas, you f—ing Jew.”
Referees and security guards were needed to break up the game, with some escorting the Leffell School players off the court.
Yonkers Public Schools interim Superintendent Dr. Luis Rodriguez and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano issued a joint statement about the situation.
“The Yonkers Public Schools, along with the City of Yonkers, sincerely apologize to the students and community of The Leffell School for the painful and offensive comments made to their women’s basketball team during a recent game with Roosevelt High School,” the statement said via the Post.
“Collectively, we do not and will not tolerate hate speech of any kind from our students and community,” the statement reads further.
“The antisemitic rhetoric reportedly made against the student athletes of The Leffell School are abhorrent, inappropriate and not in line with the values we set forth for our young people,” the statement continues.
According to Leffell player Robin Bosworth, who wrote about the incident in the school newspaper of which she is editor-in-chief, the first half was a “somewhat hostile environment, with substantially more jabs and comments thrown at the players on our team than what I have experienced in the past.”
Some players for Leffell started to get injured in the third quarter, which Bosworth says happened due to Roosevelt’s “physical style of play.”
“At the end of the quarter, players on the opposing team started shouting ‘Free Palestine’ and other antisemitic slurs and curses at us,” Bosworth wrote. “Attacking a team because of their school’s religious association is never acceptable, but especially due to the current war in Israel and the world’s rise in antisemitism, this felt extremely personal to me and many members of my team.”
After Leffell players began walking off the court during a time-out about an hour in, coaches from both sides reportedly began talking to each other and then to the referees who were calling the game.
While that was happening, Roosevelt players allegedly continued to have words with Leffell players, and security needed to step in. A school spokesperson told the Post that Roosevelt agreed to a voluntary forfeit and the game concluded.
Bosworth said both teams lined up to shake hands at the premature end of the game.
“Despite our conflicting feelings about his practice, every member of my team acted with respect and class and lined up to shake their hands,” she wrote. “However, being forced to shake hands with and say, ‘Good game’ to people who had expressed such hatred did not sit right with me afterwards.”
Roosevelt High Athletic Director Kyle Calabro apologized to Leffell Head of School Michael Kay, with the latter hearing from the former that “the follow-up would be swift and appropriate.”
Fox News’ Joe Morgan contributed to this report.
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