Controversy exploded this weekend at a high school basketball game between Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury and Newton North High School. Witnesses said around 50 Catholic Memorial students chanted the words, "You killed Jesus," at the Newton students, many of whom are Jewish. After the incident, the president of Catholic Memorial condemned what he called the "abhorrent behavior." But some say that the incident started with homophobic chants from some Newton students aimed at the all-boys school.
Newton Superintendent, David Fleishman, and Study Of Sport In Society Executive Director, Dan Lebowitz, joined Jim on Monday night to discuss the incident. The two discuss the implication of high school students chanting homophobic and anti-semitic words at each other.
Lebowitz says that we're looking at "youth development," and "generally people act differently in mob behavior than they would individually." "It's an opportunity for us to look within," says Fleishman, and it's important "to name it and address it," as an anti-semitic act. People get lost in a visceral space within a fandom, but it's important to "make sure that that teaching moment does not get lost," says Lebowitz.
Fleishman provides a broader context to the incident, with a look to today's national politics. "This is an opportunity and unfortunately this happens in our society all the time. And I think we have a special responsibility, right now, given the national climate, to really work with young people and help them understand the impact of their language and their actions."