UPDATE: Catholic Memorial administrators banned its students from attending Monday night’s Massachusetts state semifinal game at TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics. Catholic Memorial lost to Cambridge 77-73.
A Boston-area Catholic school is addressing an anti-Semitic chant its fans made at a recent high school basketball game toward fans of an opposing school with a large Jewish population.
The incident occurred last Friday night at a Massachusetts state tournament boys basketball game between Catholic Memorial of West Roxbury, Mass., and Newton North. Before the game, about 50 to 75 Catholic Memorial fans chanted, “You killed Jesus!” toward fans of Newton North, which has a large Jewish population, The Boston Globe reported. Newton North fans had reportedly made chants of “Where are your girls?” and “sausagefest” at fans of Catholic Memorial, an all-boys school.
Catholic Memorial administrators reprimanded their fans, who personally apologized to Newton North interim principal Mark Aronson, the Globe reported. Catholic Memorial President Peter F. Folan condemned the “abhorrent behavior” in a statement Saturday.
“Catholic Memorial School believes deeply that intolerance, of any kind, is unacceptable,” Folan said. “We apologize for the actions of our students and we will continue to strenuously address this issue within our community.”
In another statement Sunday, the school said, “Catholic Memorial is committed to using this incident as a teaching opportunity and to help students understand the hurt they have caused, to Newton North High School and the broader Jewish community.”
Catholic Memorial also apologized to the Anti-Defamation League on Saturday and is holding student assemblies Monday to address the issue.
“It’s very clear that Catholic Memorial is taking this seriously, and we’re very pleased about both the short-term and long-term commitment to educating their students,” Robert Trestan, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League New England, told the Globe.
Newton Public Schools superintendent David A. Fleishman, who said he “found it chilling” when he heard about the anti-Semitic chants, added Newton North is addressing the chants made by its own fans at the game.
“While there were different interpretations of what our students chanted, some perceived it as homophobic,” Fleishman told the newspaper. “Regardless of intent, it’s impact that matters.”
Catholic Memorial defeated Newton North 77-73 to win the Division 1 South final.