American football coach resigns after players shouted 'Nazi' during game

A high school head coach stepped down after players used the word as a play call


An American football coach at a US high school has resigned after players on his team reportedly shouted “Nazi” during a game.

Tim McFarland, head coach of the Brooklyn Hurricanes, who represent Ohio's Brooklyn High School, resigned after his team were accused of using racist and antisemitic language during a match with a fellow Ohio high school last week.

The other team involved in the match were the Beachwood Bisons, based in the nearby town of Beachwood.

Beachwood, Ohio, has one of the highest proportions of Jewish residents in the United States with almost 90 per cent of residents identifying as such, according to a 2011 survey.

During the first half of the game, Brooklyn players repeatedly used the word “Nazi” to call out a play during the game, according to local reports.

Beachwood Mayor Justin Berns condemned the remarks and said: “There is no place for this sort of behaviour, and we invite Brooklyn’s city leaders to join us in condemning it.

“Brooklyn’s behaviour violates the norms and expectations of conduct that should be taught to every student.”

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland added in a statement: “[We are] disgusted and hurt to hear about the hateful behaviour by a local high school team this weekend.

“We call for all those responsible for this blatant display of hate be held accountable for their actions, especially those who are supposed to be shaping the next generation.”

Beachwood school district superintendent Robert Hardis said McFarland acknowledged using the word as a play call, apologised and agreed to change it when the teams returned for the second half of the game last Friday.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Hardis went on to say Beachwood threatened to pull its players off the field if the behaviour continued. 

A statement from the Beachwood school district added: “Antisemitic and racist speech are unacceptable in any setting. 

“They are counter to the norms and expectations we teach our students. They violate the rules of sportsmanship agreed to by every Chagrin Valley Conference school district. 

“We are in contact with the Brooklyn Schools administration and trust they will address this situation in a manner that demonstrates accountability. 

“They have been responsive, appropriately concerned and apologetic. We are confident that the actions of a few are not representative of Brooklyn Schools nor the Brooklyn community.” 

Theodore Caleris, superintendent of Brooklyn City Schools, said McFarland, as well as the school district, expressed deep regret for the incident. McFarland resigned with immediate effect after making an apology to Beachwood.

A statement added: “As stated, this hurtful and harmful speech will not be tolerated, in any form, by Brooklyn City Schools leadership.

“While to the district’s knowledge the language was not directed to any single individual, the Brooklyn City Schools acknowledges that using such offensive language in the first place was utterly and absolutely wrong.”

Just last year, McFarland was praised by the district for being an excellent coach and role model. 

The Anti-Defamation League was informed about the incident and contacted the Brooklyn City school district.

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