On Wednesday, Fairfield Prep’s boys lacrosse team defeated Staples 11-10 in sudden death overtime, in the state tournament. It was an exciting, hard fought and well-played game.
There was action off the field too.
More than a dozen readers sent me links to a story that ran in all local Hearst papers — the Westport News, Norwalk Hour and Stamford Advocate — describing actions by the “Bomb Squad,” a longtime Prep fan group.
According to the story, Prep students directed anti-Semitic chants at Staples, held up X-rated signs, and urinated as a group on cars in the parking lot.
Geralyn Brieg is a 20-year resident of Westport. Her son played youth lacrosse here, then 4 years at Staples. Her husband coached in the Westport Youth Lacrosse program for more than 10 years. She sent “06880” this opinion piece about the Bomb Squad.
A lot of us wonder what can be done about the increasing lack of civility, coarsening of discourse, divisiveness, and racism.
Let’s start in our own backyard.
If you, like me, have sat through one too many sports events over the years forced to listen to the increasingly horrific chants coming out of the mouths of the Fairfield Prep “Bomb Squad,” you were disappointed but not surprised by the Stamford Advocate headline about the “boorish behavior” and anti-Semitic chants at the Staples-Prep lacrosse game.
While I was not there this time, it appeared that no Prep parent, staff or coach put a stop to this.
This would be consistent with what I witnessed watching my son play lacrosse at Staples from 2007 to ’11. Those 4 years include one playoff game in particular, when I witnessed the Bomb Squad single out one of our Jewish players by name, and attack him personally.
Back then, I looked around shocked that no one did anything to end the Bomb Squad’s outrageous behavior. As the product of 12 years of Catholic schools myself, I was confused their behavior was tolerated, outraged as a parent, and yes, embarrassed to be Catholic.
Flash forward to this year when the Bomb Squad’s reported behavior goes well over the line. Prep once again administered a mere boys-will-be boys wrist slap.
Why must we host the “Bomb Squad” here in Westport? If Fairfield Prep lacks the moral conviction to ban this formal or informal group, let’s not sit around helplessly.
I say: Time’s up. Either ban the Bomb Squad from our athletic facilities, or ban Fairfield Prep from athletic contests with Staples until they eliminate it and/or replace it with a cheer squad with proper governance just like other high schools.
I am calling on the athletic director, Board of Education and first selectman to find a solution that welcomes Fairfield Prep, but not its Bomb Squad.
(Click here for a link to the Stamford Advocate story.)