Antisemitic Slurs Halt Roosevelt High School Girls’ Basketball Game in Yonkers

In a shocking incident this week, a high school girls’ basketball game in Yonkers faced abrupt cancellation as players from the home team at Roosevelt High School directed antisemitic slurs towards their opponents from The Leffell School, a private Jewish school in Hartsdale.

Foul play

The Thursday Jan. 4th game was scheduled as a non-league matchup. The Roosevelt High School Sharks faced the The Leffell School Lions. Unfortunately, hostilities began early in the game. Reportedly, players from Roosevelt started making substantially more derogatory comments and jabs at the Leffell team than typically experienced.

Senior Leffel player Robin Bosworth described the escalating aggression and injuries inflicted on her teammates. She claimed her opposing team began shouting “Free Palestine” alongside other antisemitic slurs and curses. One Roosevelt player even reportedly said to a Leffell opponent, “I support Hamas, you f–king Jew.”

I have played a sport every athletic season throughout my high school career, and I have never experienced this kind of hatred directed at one of my teams before.

Robin Bosworth

Considering the animosity, Leffell Coach John Tessitore consulted with his players and made the decision to abruptly end the game. Security guards then escorted the Leffell School’s players from the property.

Apologies in the aftermath

Roosevelt High School’s athletic director, Kyle Calabro, apologized, promising swift and appropriate follow-up. Principal Edward DeChent also apologized to Leffell’s head of school, outlining disciplinary consequences and educational responses.

Michael Kay, Leffell’s head of school, expressed pride in his team’s response to the incident. But, he emphasized the need for swift and meaningful actions to address antisemitism in high school sports.

Both schools are considering a potential in-person meeting between the teams.

*An earlier version of this story included the tuition for The Leffell School. We have removed that information as some readers found the inclusion of that fact antisemitic. That was not our intent by providing that additional context.

*Commenting on this article has been closed due to the inappropriate and hateful remarks being submitted against all parties in this story–comments which we are rejecting. We encourage discussion, but we are not a platform for hate and choose to stop moderating comments here.

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