Opinion: There Was No Need For Duxbury To Use anti-Semitic Play Calls

The Duxbury High School Football Team used anti-Semitic play calls during a recent game this month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Anderson Mancini on Visual Hunt / CC BY)

By Matt Noonan

There was no need for the Duxbury High School football team to use anti-Semitic language at the line of scrimmage earlier this month when the Dragons opened their spring season against Plymouth North High School.

According to the Boston Globe, the Dragons shouted words like “rabbi” and “dreidel” at the line of scrimmage – they even referenced Auschwitz, too, and because of these inappropriate actions, Duxbury Superintendent John Antonucci announced Wednesday afternoon that he had fired head coach Dave Maimaron.

Maimaron, who is a special education teacher within the Duxbury school system, has been placed on administrative leave, and according to the Patriot Ledger, “the school is hiring a law firm to conduct an investigation.”

As for Maimaron’s assistant coaches, they are currently “under review.”

Friday’s Patriot League clash between Duxbury and Hingham High School has been called off. And as of now, it remains an unknown as to when fans of the Dragons will see their team return to the gridiron.

And while this story seems to be changing on a minute-by-minute basis, I can’t help but wonder why Maimaron, as well as his student-athletes, felt this language was appropriate? Seriously, didn’t someone question the tenured coach’s motives when choosing these offensive words to alert the offense about executing another play?

Like many, I want action now – I want to know how a program that has been so successful over the past few years was never flagged or penalized for using inappropriate language. Additionally, I would like to know why it took just one football game – were there others? – to alert both the Duxbury community and general public about this high school football team’s inappropriate actions.

But as much as I want action – and yes, more answers, too! – I also want to know how the Duxbury school system, along with other districts throughout the state, will learn from this horrific incident.

I believe this is a teachable moment, not just for the football players, but for all of us. And that is something Rabbi Howard Cohen of the Congregation Shirat Hayam said earlier this week to the Boston Globe. Cohen said he would make himself available to the school and I certainly think he would be a great resource, but the same could said for Barry Finegold, a state senator that penned an open letter to the Duxbury football team with hope of helping the Green and White truly understand their actions from two weeks ago.

No matter what transpires over the next few days and weeks, I hope this this particular episode will help our coaches, athletic directors, and administrators, as well as the student-athletes understand that inappropriate actions and behaviors have consequences. And the Duxbury football team has had to learn this the hard way.

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