The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is calling for a “full scale independent investigation” into a Massachusetts high school’s football program after the school district confirmed reports that anti-Semitic language was used on the field during a game.
On Monday, top Duxbury School District officials confirmed in a statement that “highly offensive language” was used on the field as part of the football team’s play-call system.
According to the Boston Herald, the school’s superintendent later confirmed that the team was using anti-Semitic language.
The school district officials called the incident a “systematic failure” and noted that while the football players “clearly demonstrated poor judgment,” the adults overseeing the team also bear responsibility.
“It is important to note that while the players clearly demonstrated poor judgment, the responsibility for this incident also lies with the adults overseeing the program. In short, this was a systemic failure,” the statement, signed by the district’s superintendent, assistant superintendent and high school principal, reads.
Robert Trestan, the New England regional director of the ADL, said the organization was "shocked and offended at the allegations" before calling for an investigation, according to a statement obtained by The Hill.
He also encouraged the district to be “transparent” with the community.
“We encouraged them to be transparent with the community because there are many unanswered questions that people have, and the community is entitled to those answers,” Trestan told the Boston Herald. “When anti-Semitism or racism is present, we should be upfront about calling it what it is.”
Trestan said the events that unfolded are "indications of a systemic failure," and said the ADL will work with school officials as the investigation proceeds.
"It is deeply hurtful to the Jewish community to learn that plays on the field were connected to the Holocaust and Judaism," Trestan said in a statement.
According to the Boston Herald, the football team's longtime coach, Dave Maimaron, was suspended following the alleged inappropriate conduct. In a statement to the paper on Monday, Maimaron expressed remorse for what happened during the game.
The school district has also called for education surrounding diversity and will launch a review to determine how it can “integrate elements of diversity, equality, and inclusion into all of our athletic and co-curricular activities."
The officials announced plans to institute a mandatory training for the football team in the future.