Duxbury Football team meets Jewish legislator after antisemitic comments

The Duxbury High School football team was said last week to have used “highly offensive language” including antisemitic remarks such as the name of a Nazi concentration camp and other words with Jewish significance to call plays.
As a consequence, the team received a mandatory lesson in antisemitism just before the Jewish Holiday of Passover, CBS Boston reported on Monday.
Massachusets’ Jewish State Senator Barry Finegold, who also played football in high school and college, reached out to the football team after the incident became public.According to CBS Boston, Finegold said he had a “great conversation” with the team Saturday to discuss the Jewish faith and the Holocaust, stressing in a press release that it was not an easy discussion but an important one. 
“I believe we can use the incident in Duxbury as a crucial learning opportunity,” Finegold wrote. 
The team is currently under investigation for using words like “Auschwitz,” “rabbi” and “dreidel” during a game earlier this month against Plymouth North High School which first reported the comments. The play-call system is no longer in place.
Football teams often use agreed-upon code words to signal play calls to each other. Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning, for instance, was famous for calling out “Omaha” on the playing field, a choice he later said was totally random.

“It’s my understanding that ‘Auschwitz,’ ‘rabbi,’ and ‘dreidel’ were some of the words used,” New England ADL Executive Director Robert Trestan told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Trestan said reports of antisemitic or otherwise derogatory language are not uncommon in local and professional sports. “What’s unusual in this case is that it seems to have been planted within the team’s playbook and strategy of calling plays,” he said.
School officials launched an investigation and quickly confirmed the reports. “It has become clear that members of the Duxbury High school football team did in fact use antisemitic and potentially other inappropriate and derogatory language,” Duxbury Superintendent John Antonucci told the Boston Globe.
In a letter to the Duxbury community, Antonucci and school officials said the ongoing investigation would examine the role that adults played in stoking the comments, which the letter characterized as “highly offensive” without offering details about their content. He also suggested that consequences could be forthcoming for anyone involved.
While the players demonstrated poor judgment, “the responsibility for this incident also lies with the adults overseeing the program. In short, this was a systemic failure,” the letter said.
On Wednesday, 12 days after the game, Antonucci announced that the team’s longtime coach, Dave Maimaron, had been fired. Maimaron, who led Duxbury to five state championships, had issued an apology for the team’s “insensitive, crass and inappropriate” language and did not appear at the school’s March 19 game.
JTA Staff contributed to this report.


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