Basketball stadium (file)
Basketball stadium (file)Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Boston Catholic Memorial high school, whose students chanted “You killed Jesus” during a playoff basketball game against largely-Jewish Newton North High School, alleged Sunday that the chant followed slurs from the Newton crowd.

The Washington Post cited parents of the Catholic Memorial students who said that they heard Newton North High School fans shouting “sausage fest”, and the Boston Globe reported that Newton fans chanted “Where are your girls?”

Some Catholic Memorial fans said they considered these chants to be offensive slurs, ascribing homosexuality to the all-boy school students.

Risa King, a Catholic Memorial parent, said she heard anti-gay chants coming from the Newton side. “This is nothing new,” she said in an e-mail. “At every game our boys get taunted like this by most schools that we play. … We’ve just never complained before.” Other Catholic Memorial parents and supporters reported hearing similar shouts.

Peter F. Folan, president of Catholic Memorial, released a statement Saturday in which he said that the school is “deeply disturbed by the behavior of a group of student spectators who made an unacceptable chant Friday night while playing Newton North High School.”

Catholic Memorial (CM) faculty and staff “acted immediately to stop the behavior,” he said. “At the conclusion of the game, CM students were reprimanded and each student personally apologized to the Principal of Newton North High School and shook his hand before leaving the arena.”

He added, however, that “We have been the subject of hurtful chants as well and we will work diligently within our own community and with other schools to end this abhorrent behavior.”

The Washington Post noted that one spectator who was shaken by the event — and who asked not to be identified — is a native of Skokie, Ill., a largely Jewish town, where in the mid-1970s, neo-Nazis held a march. The spectator, whose parents are survivors of Holocaust concentration camps, said, “I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it.”

Some Jewish parents at the game said the CM fans’ chant was inappropriate even if they did hear chants from the other side first.