A coach was fired for a comment one of his female players made to the opposing team. Brian Williams was coaching “Roosevelt High School” when one of his players yelled “Free Palestine” towards the opposing players. Williams’s team was playing against “Leffell School” which is a Jewish Private School.

The game was ended (in the third quarter) because the remark was considered anti-Semitic. Coach Williams was fired and accused of having “Poor management skills”.

Now as someone who currently coaches, I will say this situation was handled incorrectly. Firstly the player who said “Free Palestine” should’ve received a warning for taunting. After she received her warning if she continued she gets a technique foul call. Continues with the behavior she gets tossed out of the game.

Saying “Free Palestine” should not be considered anti-Semitic as it is simply suggestive. The referee who heard the comment should have taken control of the situation by giving the player a warning and talking to the coach. In most cases, this would have been enough because most coaches do not want their team to show poor sportsmanship or things to get out of hand.

The Yonkers school system overreacted by firing coach Williams. He wasn’t the one who yelled “Free Palestine” nor did he condone his player behavior. Williams was in his third year of coaching at Roosevelt High School. He’s a retired correction officer of 30 years.

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