FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — There was growing outrage Monday over hateful chants shouted at a high school lacrosse game. The controversy was even addressed at weekend graduation.
Fairfield Preparatory School fans are accused of making controversial remarks and even holding up a profane banner during the game against Staples High School in Westport last week.
On exclusive video obtained by CBS2’s Lisa Rozner, the word “Christmas” can be heard. Witnesses said Fairfield Prep fans were shouting “We have Christmas!” They were allegedly boasting about how the Jesuit school’s community has Christmas as opposed to a third of the players on the opposing team, who are Jewish.
“It was constant throughout the game. It ebbed and flowed, but it didn’t stop,” Staples High School parent Roz Koether said. “One of (Staples) lead players is Jewish, so he’s on the field a lot.”
Koether said she was there, as was Staples head coach Paul McNulty.
“Talking about Jewish, talking about God is on our side, singing Jewish-type songs when a Jewish player has the ball. You could hear the noise went way up,” McNulty said.
Both say the Fairfield Prep fans, known as the “Bomb Squad,” chanted “Happy Hanukkah” and other Jewish songs when Jewish players had the ball and scored. Other fans joined in and no one stopped it. Some were also holding a sign that included male genitalia. That sign was later confiscated.
The next day Fairfield Prep’s principal sent an internal email to the community, calling the behavior “boorish and offensive,” which upset McNulty even more.
“That isn’t boorish behavior. It’s anti-Semitic behavior,” McNulty said.
No one at Fairfield Prep would speak to CBS2 on camera, but on Sunday the school’s president addressed the matter in his graduation speech.
“Prep students from all years were there. Student government leaders were there. Team leaders were there. It was a collective failure,” Rev. Thomas Simisky said.
McNulty and Koether commend the speech, but said so far they nor any of the students on the team have received an apology.
“Knowing a lot of people that attended Prep, this was very upsetting to alums’ families and the fact that no apology came forth in any way shape or form,” Koether said.
There was no immediate word on potential punishments.
The Anti-Defamation League confirmed that there is a meeting Tuesday with Fairfield Prep representatives.