A local New York NAACP chapter determined there was “absolutely no evidence” that antisemitic slurs were hurdled at a Jewish day school during a basketball game against another public high school.
A high school girls 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 Jan. 4 after Roosevelt players were accused of hurling antisemitic slurs at their opponents. Some of those slurs allegedly included, “I support Hamas, you f—ing Jew.”
Frank Coleman, the president of the Yonkers NAACP and a substitute teacher at Roosevelt High School, said there was a “rush to judgment” over the allegations, according to the Journal News.
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“We have concluded that there was absolutely no evidence of any antisemitic slurs rendered,” Coleman said, via the Journal News.
Coleman’s report added that the accusations were “untrue and unfair” and that the two teams “simply played basketball.”
Leffell’s head of school, Michael Kay, revealed a twist in the investigation to the Journal News. He said the Yonkers NAACP didn’t contact the players, coaches or administrators during its investigation.
“As educators, we strongly share the stated desire to bring communities together for moments of genuine learning,” Kay told the outlet. “As educators, we strongly share the stated desire to bring communities together for moments of genuine learning.”
Roosevelt fired Bryan Williams after the incident. He told News 12 Westchester he was being used as a “scapegoat” for what happened.
NEW YORK HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL GAME CALLED AFTER ANTISEMITIC SLURS TOWARD PLAYERS: REPORT
“It puts me in a bad light and makes people that don’t know me think that I’m a monster, or I don’t like Jewish people or I can’t navigate in a multicultural world and that’s a lie. A total lie,” Williams told News 12 Westchester.
Williams said he was told he was let go because of “poor management skills,” but he says there wasn’t much he could do regarding the player’s actions.
“I had nothing to do with it. I just coach my team. I can’t control what somebody says on the court and most coaches can’t,” he said.
Yonkers interim superintendent Luis Rodriguez said, “The fact that the coach was separated from employment with the Yonkers Public School District in no way even infer[s] that he was participating or that he condoned or that he acquiesced to any form of antisemitism.”
According to Leffell player Robin Bosworth, who wrote about the incident in the school newspaper for which she serves as 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.”
Williams said he does not condone such language “at all.”
Bosworth said both teams lined up to shake hands at the premature end of the game.
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“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.”
Fox News’ Ryan Morik contributed to this report.
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