Fans cheering for Catholic basketball team shout ‘You killed Jesus’ to opposing players – Valerie Strauss/The Washington Post
BOSTON — An ugly thing happened at a high school basketball game in a suburb of Boston Friday night.
It occurred at a division title game between the all-boys Catholic Memorial School and the public Newton North High School, which has a large Jewish community of students. The game was held at Newton South High School, where an estimated 100 young men sitting in the student section cheering for Catholic Memorial shouted, “You killed Jesus, you killed Jesus,” according to several witnesses who asked not to be identified. Most of those chanting fans wore red shirts as a display of support for their team. Some of the witnesses, who were Jewish, said they found the chant alarming.
Brendan C. Hall, high school sports editor for ESPNBoston, and some others people tweeted about what happened:
Probably craziest high school chant ever
Newton North fans chant: "sausage fest, sausage fest"
CM fans response: "You killed Jesus"
— Dirty Dan (@Dtf617) March 12, 2016
I am serious. MIAA should consider fining schools whose fans use hate speech. I'm sick of dealing with these stories https://t.co/WDm0qGlnAO
— Brendan C. Hall (@BHallESPN) March 12, 2016
If you chant "You Killed Jesus" to a predominantly Jewish school you're gonna have a bad time. https://t.co/oM1j3bxiNj
— Matt McClintock (@mlmcclin) March 12, 2016
One spectator who was shaken by the events — and who asked not to be identified — is a native of Skokie, Ill, where in the mid-1970s, a controversy erupted when neo-Nazis wanted to march through the heavily Jewish town. Skokie officials tried to stop it but lost the case in court. This spectator, whose parents are survivors of World War II concentration camps, said, “I can’t believe it,” she said. “I just can’t believe it.”
This week Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, the Catholic archbishop of Boston, gave a speech to representatives of the Jewish community to mark the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the 1965 document that revolutionized Catholic-Jewish relations and made clear for the first time that the Catholic Church rejects any form of anti-Semitism.
Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, is a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7-12. The school’s website says that it “transforms boys’ lives and prepares them for college and the world.”