Ohio high school football coach resigns after team used 'Nazi' as play call against team from Jewish community

Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

An Ohio high school football coach resigned on Tuesday, days after his team repeatedly used a slur and the word "Nazi" against a team from a Jewish community.

Tim McFarland coached Brooklyn High School, a program in a Cleveland suburb. His team visited Beachwood High School on Friday in a nearby Cleveland suburb. Per Jewish Federation of Cleveland data cited by the Associated Press, Beachwood's population was 90% Jewish as of a 2011 survey.

Beachwood superintendent of schools Robert Hardis told the New York Times in a statement that McFarland and his players repeatedly used the word "Nazi" as a defensive play call during the first half of Friday's game. Beachwood leaders, including the coach and athletic director, informed game officials of what was happening at halftime and threatened to pull their team from the game.

Per Hardis, McFarland admitted to using the word "Nazi" to call plays and vowed to stop using in the second half. Hardis says the play calls changed, but that Brooklyn players repeatedly used a racial slur in the second half. He did not clarify what slur was used.

“We informed the officials that if should this continue, we would pull our players from the field,” Hardis' statement read. “To our knowledge, ‘Nazi’ was not used during the second half. Late in the game, it was also reported by our team that several Brooklyn players used a racial slur freely throughout the night.

Brooklyn City Schools superintendent Ted Caleris announced in a statement Tuesday that McFarland had resigned and offered an apology. Per Caleris, McFarland expressed "his deepest regret about the matter, and offers his sincerest apologies to the Beachwood and Brooklyn School communities."

Caleris' statement followed a statement from the Brooklyn City Schools system after the game.

“Our football coaching staff expressed their regret to the Beachwood football family immediately during the contest, and took corrective measures in the second half, in finishing the contest," the statement read, per Cleveland19. "While to the knowledge of the Brooklyn City Schools, this language was not directed to any single individual, the choice in using it at all, was utterly and absolutely wrong."

Beachwood Mayor Justin Berns and the Beachwood City Council released a joint statement Sunday condemning the language.

"We strongly condemn the racist and antisemitic language used by Brooklyn’s football team at Friday’s game in Beachwood. There is no place for this sort of behavior, and we invite Brooklyn’s city leaders to join us in condemning it. Brooklyn’s behavior violates the norms and expectations of conduct that should be taught to every student."

The Cleveland chapter of the Anti-Defamation League also issued a statement.

"There is no room in sports for Holocaust references and racial slurs," the statement read. "Student athletes should be put in a position to best reflect their school's commitment to inclusive, fair play."

Per Caleris, the Anti-Defamation League reached out to Brooklyn City Schools offering to serve as a resource to "promote understanding and tolerance.”