Ohio high school football coach resigns after using ‘Nazi’ as call for play against Jewish community team

Photo by Brett Carlson/Getty Images

Photo by Brett Carlson/Getty Images

An Ohio high school football coach resigned Tuesday, days after his team repeatedly used profanity and the word “Nazi” against a team in the Jewish community.

Tim McFarland coached at Brooklyn High School, a program in the Cleveland suburbs. His team visited Beechwood High School in the nearby Cleveland suburb on Friday. According to Jewish Federation of Cleveland data cited by the Associated Press, Beachwood’s population was 90% Jewish as of a 2011 survey.

Beachwood Schools Superintendent Robert Hardis told The New York Times in a statement that McFarland and his players repeatedly used the word “Nazi” as a defensive play call during the first half of Friday’s game. Beechwood leaders, including the coaches and athletic director, informed game officials at halftime of what was happening and threatened to remove their team from the game.

Per Hardys, McFarland admitted to using the word “Nazi” to call plays and vowed to stop using it in the second half. Hardis says the situation in the game changed, but Brooklyn players repeatedly used racial slurs in the second half. He did not clarify which abusive word was used.

“We informed the officials that if this continues we will remove our players from the field,” Hardis’ statement 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.

Brooklyn City Schools Superintendent Ted Calleris announced in a statement Tuesday that McFarland had resigned and offered an apology. According to Calleris, McFarland “expressed his deep regret regarding the matter, and offered his heartfelt apologies to the Beachwood and Brooklyn school communities.”

Caleris’ statement followed a statement from the Brooklyn City School system after the game.

“Our football coaching staff immediately expressed regret to the Beechwood football family during the contest and took corrective measures in the second half to end the contest,” the statement read, according to cleveland19. “This language was not directed at any one person, the choice to use it was completely and utterly wrong.”

Beachwood Mayor Justin Burns and the Beachwood City Council issued a joint statement Sunday condemning the language.

“We strongly condemn the racist and anti-Semitic language used by Brooklyn’s football team at Friday’s game in Beachwood. There is no place for this kind of behavior, and we join Brooklyn’s city leaders in condemning it. We invite you to join in. Brooklyn’s behavior violates the norms and expectations of conduct that should be taught to every student.”

The Cleveland chapter of the Anti-Defamation League also issued a statement.

“There is no place for references to genocide and racist comments in sports,” the statement said. “Student athletes should be placed in a position to best reflect their school’s commitment to inclusive, fair play.”

Per Caleris, the Anti-Defamation League reached out to Brooklyn City Schools, offering to serve as a resource to “promote understanding and tolerance.”

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