Duxbury High School Football Coach Dave Maimaron was fired today – nearly two weeks after his team used the terms “Auschwitz,” “rabbi,” and “dreidel” while calling plays in a game against Plymouth North.
Maimaron coached the game in which those terms were used in plays on March 12. He was not on the sidelines the following week.
Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp in Poland during World War II where more than 1 million Jews were murdered – including at least 200,000 children.
“The fact that members of our school community used such offensive language, including anti-Semitic language, is horrifying and disappointing. We are collaborating with the Anti-Defamation League regarding the seriousness of the allegations, and on our short-term and long-term response,” Superintendent John Antonucci, Assistant Superintendent Danielle Klingaman, Chief Human Resources Officer Patrick Dillon and High School Principal James Donovan said in a joint statement.
According to previous reports, the names of the plays have been long-used by the Duxbury football squad in practice. Maimaron, the former coach, said he was sorry about the incident in a statement earlier this week. “I want to extend my apology for the insensitive, crass, and inappropriate language used in the game on March 12th,” he said.
In their statement, the Duxbury school officials said that they had begun “an active investigation” and were compiling facts about what led to the players to use using those words in a game.
“To this end, the district has hired Edward R. Mitnick of Just Training Solutions, LLC to assist us in conducting a full investigation of all of the allegations made against the program in the most expeditious manner possible. Mr. Mitnick is an experienced attorney and investigator, and has provided services to employers throughout the United States for over 30 years.”
The district cancelled the team’s game slated for Friday. The town has yet to decide if the team will play any more games this year.
“We certainly welcome the independent investigation. There are a lot of unanswered questions and the community needs answers and it’s essential to have those answers if we’re going to have a pathway forward that includes institutional change,” said Robert Trestan, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Boston office.
Trestan said that since the incident became public this week the ADL has fielded calls from people who reported that they heard the Duxbury team using these plays a year ago.
“This was a systemic institutional problem. What’s different about this case than other cases is that apparently it was going on for a long time, and nobody recognized that it was wrong, and nobody said anything. Nobody asked any questions,” said Trestan. “And that’s an indication that it wasn’t just one game, it was part of the program, it was part of the playbook that was supported and encouraged by the coaching staff.
“The question is how come nobody recognized that calling a football play ‘Auschwitz’ was a problem. Imagine if you’re a Jewish football player on that team or you’re a Jewish player on the opposing team, what message does that send when you hear that play called on the field? And how many students graduated from the program, and left with the message that it’s OK to use Auschwitz as a substitute for a football play? And what’s the impact of having learned that in high school, and heard it from the coach or an adult who is a role model? Those are important questions and I think that’s why this is a serious case.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated. If you have a news tip about this story email Rosenberg@jewishjournal.org.