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Fired high school coach says he's 'scapegoat' over antisemitic slurs during game

Brian Williams, the high school girls basketball coach fired after antisemitic slurs were hurled toward Jewish opponents, says he's a "scapegoat."

A high school girls basketball coach was fired after antisemitic slurs were hurled while he was coaching against a Jewish school.

Bryan Williams was coaching Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, N.Y., when a player on his team yelled "Free Palestine" toward an opponent playing for The Leffell School, an investigation found.

Williams, in his third year as the coach, says he's the school's "scapegoat" for what happened.


"It puts me in a bad light and makes people that don't know me think that I'm a monster, or I don't like Jewish people or I can't navigate in a multicultural world and that's a lie. A total lie," Williams told News 12 Westchester.

Williams said he was told he was let go because of "poor management skills," but he says there wasn't much he could do regarding the player's actions.

"I had nothing to do with it. I just coach my team. I can't control what somebody says on the court and most coaches can't," he said.

Yonkers interim superintendent Luis Rodriguez said "the fact that the coach was separated from employment with the Yonkers Public School District in no way even infer[s] that he was participating or that he condoned or that he acquiesced to any form of antisemitism."

The game between the two schools Thursday ended in the third quarter after Roosevelt players used antisemitic slurs toward their opponents. Some of those slurs allegedly included "I support Hamas, you f---ing Jew."

Roosevelt players allegedly continued to have words with Leffell players during a timeout, to the point security stepped in and eventually escorted Leffell players off the court. Roosevelt voluntarily forfeited the contest.


According to Leffell player Robin Bosworth, who wrote about the incident in the school newspaper for which she serves as editor-in-chief, the first half was a "somewhat hostile environment, with substantially more jabs and comments thrown at the players on our team than what I have experienced in the past."

Williams said he does not condone such language "at all."

"Players of mine and people that know me know I don't believe in that and never have," Williams, a former correctional officer of nearly 30 years, said.

Bosworth said both teams lined up to shake hands at the premature end of the game.

"Despite our conflicting feelings about his practice, every member of my team acted with respect and class and lined up to shake their hands," she wrote. "However, being forced to shake hands with and say, ‘Good game’ to people who had expressed such hatred did not sit right with me afterwards."

Fox News' Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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