Ohio high school football coach resigns after team uses ‘Nazi’ as play call

A high school football coach in the Cleveland area resigned Monday after he and his team repeatedly used the word “Nazi” as a play-call reference during a game Friday night, school officials said. . School officials said.

Coach Tim McFarland, who led Brooklyn High School’s football team, and his players used the word in the first half of the game against Beachwood High School, Beachwood Schools Superintendent Robert Hardis said in a statement. Brooklyn High School, from the southwest Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn, was playing as the visiting team in Beachwood, Ohio, a predominantly Jewish suburb southeast of Cleveland.

Mr. Hardis said that when Beechwood High School officials, including the athletic director and head coach, became aware of what was happening on the field in the first half of the game, they notified game officials.

After Mr. McFarland acknowledged that his team was using the word “Nazi” as a play call, he apologized and said that his team would use another word for its play calls in the second half of the game, according to Mr. Hardis. he said.

“We have informed the authorities that if this continues we will remove our players from the field,” Mr Hardys said. “To our knowledge, ‘Nazi’ was not used during the second part. At the end of the game, it was also reported by our team that several Brooklyn players openly used racial slurs throughout the night. He did not say what the abuse was.

Brooklyn City Schools Superintendent Theodore Calleris announced Mr. McFarland’s resignation in a statement on Tuesday, saying that the coach “has expressed his deep regret regarding this matter, and offers his sincere apologies to the Beachwood and Brooklyn school communities.” Are.”

He added, “Although to the district’s knowledge this language was not directed at any one individual, Brooklyn City Schools believes it was completely wrong to use such offensive language in the first place.”

Mr. McFarland did not respond to phone messages and emails requesting comment Tuesday.

It was unclear who made the decision to use the term in the play call for Friday night’s game. It was also unclear whether the players or other members of the coaching staff would face discipline.

Brooklyn High School athletic director Michael Baker did not immediately respond to a phone message and email requesting comment Tuesday.

The episode occurred at a time when anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise. The Jewish advocacy group Anti-Defamation League said in a report that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2022 was the highest since 1979, when the organization began recording such acts, including online harassment, speech and physical attacks Was.

Mr. Calleris said Brooklyn City Schools was contacted by the Anti-Defamation League, which offered to serve as a resource to “promote understanding and tolerance.”

The Anti-Defamation League of Cleveland said in a Facebook post Sunday that “there is no place for Holocaust references and racial slurs in sports.” It states, “Student athletes should be placed in a position to best reflect their school’s commitment to inclusive, fair play.”

Brooklyn High School’s football team also faced criticism from city officials in Beachwood.

Beachwood Mayor Justin Burns and the City Council said in a joint statement Sunday that “Brooklyn’s behavior violates the norms and expectations of conduct that should be taught to every student.”

“We commend the Beechwood football team for holding themselves to high standards of conduct and taking the appropriate action by exposing this behavior,” the mayor said.

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