A private Jewish high school girls basketball team had to be escorted off the court before their game’s official ending due to antisemitic harassment from opposing players.
Members of The Leffell School team allegedly were shouted at by Roosevelt High School players and faced “hostility and aggression with ‘substantially more jabs and comments'” than in past encounters, according to the New York Post.
Roosevelt HS players (pictured) reportedly yelled “Free Palestine” and “I support Hamas, you f–king Jew” to the Leffell team.
Leffell player Robin Bosworth wrote in her school’s student paper that she and her teammates “started to get injured from the other team’s physical style of play.”
“I have played a sport every athletic season throughout my high school career, and I have never experienced this kind of hatred directed at one of my teams before,” Bosworth wrote. “Instead of responding to hatred with more of the same, we chose to separate ourselves from the situation and leave with dignity and pride in who we are and what we believe in.”
That meant ending the game with the fourth quarter still to play.
The Rockland/Westchester Journal News reports a Roosevelt coach and one player have been “dismissed” from the team as Section One, the “governing body” of Lower Hudson Valley high school interscholastic sports, continues to investigate the matter.
Thus far Section One has “put the onus” on Leffell and Roosevelt to resolve the situation themselves, saying it will “continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to support both schools involved.”
Ironically, Section One adopted a DEI — diversity, equity, and inclusion — policy last year.
Meanwhile, Yonkers Interim Superintendent Luis Rodriguez and Mayor Mike Spano issued an apology to Leffell “for the painful and offensive comments made to their women’s basketball team during a recent game.”
“Collectively, we do not and will not tolerate hate speech of any kind from our students and community,” the officials wrote. “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 Journal News report notes numerous public officials aren’t quite satisfied with the current state of the investigation, with some requesting the involvement of the New York Board of Regents.
“Was the incident that occured (sic) handled appropriately?” asked Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. “Was any student discipline imposed strong enough?”
Democratic State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin said the response by Yonkers Public Schools officials “lacked outrage.”
It remains to be seen how Section One will classify the shortened game — as a forfeit by Leffell or as a non-game altogether. Tournament playoff seedings don’t seem to be an issue as Leffell and Roosevelt have one win between them (0-6 and 1-5 respectively).
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