Brooklyn Football Coach Resigns After Using 'Nazi' Playcall Against Beachwood

Officials also said Brooklyn players used racial slurs during the game

click to enlarge Brooklyn Football Coach Resigns After Using 'Nazi' Playcall Against Beachwood
Brooklyn School System

Last weekend, at Brooklyn Memorial Stadium, the action on the field between the Beachwood Bisons and Brooklyn Hurricanes took a backseat to racial slurs used on the gridiron during the game.

In a long email published in the Cleveland Jewish News on Sunday, Beachwood Athletic Director Ryan Peters recounted their game against the Hurricanes on September 22nd as one fraught with racial slurs and offensive language, including a defensive playcall from the Hurricanes, yelled by the head coach and players, that was simply called: Nazi.

By halftime on Saturday, Peters and Head Coach Scott Fischer were able to confirm with Brooklyn coaches and game officials the play nickname was true. Brooklyn coaches said they wouldn't use the "Nazi" playcall in the second half, but questions remain about how the team believed it was okay to use in the first place and allegations that Brooklyn players used slurs during the second half.

"Offensive language from the Brooklyn coaches and players is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated," Peters wrote. Commending the actions of the players and coaches that behaved appropriately, Peters added, "They are true warriors than play the game of football with class, dignity and a lot of heart."

A day later, after the CJN story was published, Beachwood Mayor Justin Berns and its city council condemned Brooklyn's "racist and antisemitic remarks" in a brief statement to the press.

"There is no place for this sort of behavior," the email reads, "and we invite Brooklyn's city leaders to join us in condemning it."

Calls to Brooklyn head coach Tim McFarland and athletic director Michael Becker seeking comment were unreturned on Monday, but Brooklyn Superintendent Theodore Caleris announced that McFarland had resigned as head coach Monday afternoon, reported.

Jim Verba, the former athletic director, declined to discuss the origins of the "Nazi" play when reached by Scene.

"Nope, I'm staying out of that one," he said. "No comment."

In their emails, Peters and others suggested possible reprimanding from the Chagrin Valley Conference, which oversees intramural football matches, for Brooklyn officials. On Monday, a page on Brooklyn High's website linking to McFarland was left with a 404 error.

Beachwood's population is about 90 percent Jewish. (The city itself has the second highest concentration of Jewish people per-capita outside of Israel.)

"This is not the first time Beachwood student-athletes have been subjected to antisemitic and racist speech," Beachwood Superintendent Robert Hardis said in an email to parents. "We always hope it will be the last."

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About The Author

Mark Oprea

Mark Oprea is a staff writer at Scene. For the past seven years, he's covered Cleveland as a freelance journalist, and has contributed to TIME, NPR, the Pacific Standard and the Cleveland Magazine. He's the winner of two Press Club awards.
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