Harvard's big squash match at Dartmouth was livened up by some rowdy Big Green fans, and now Crimson supporters are crying homophobia and antisemitism. But wait until you read about what must be the most innocuous Jewish stereotype ever.
Visiting Harvard won both the men's and women's squash matches this week, but came away complaining about abuse from the crowd.
Dartmouth student Bryan Giudicelli said Thursday he and his soccer teammates are routinely cursed at and heckled while playing on the road and were seeking to create a similarly intimidating atmosphere at Berry. However, he said the soccer players and some Alpha Delta fraternity brothers didn't realize how hostile such behavior would appear in the crowded squash courts.
So far, so good, right? Squash could use a little vitriol, and it's always cute when the Ivies pretend they take their sports seriously. Well, things got a little ugly.
Words such as "dick," "fag" and "——sucker" were repeatedly shouted at the visitors Wednesday, many times with "f———" added as an adjective. Harvard's female players eventually sought the protection of an assistant coach after they said they were called "whores" and "sluts" while they cheered on their male peers. While playing his match, Franklin Cohen was told he had small genitals and asked if he liked bagels, a phrase his mother viewed as a reference to the family's Jewish surname.
Wait, the worst thing they came up with about the Jewish kid was that he likes bagels? As a card-carrying member of the tribe, I say, damn straight. If the Procotols of the Elders of Zion was all about our love of bagels, that would be wonderful. If Kristallnacht had only targeted the bagel stores in Nazi Germany, I'd take that in a second.
And, worst of all about this misplaced racism accusation, the bagels weren't even about the Judaism.
Giudicelli said Susan Cohen confronted his group about the bagel phrase immediately after her son's match and was told it referred to Franklin Cohen having a zero or "bagel" on the scoreboard at a certain juncture in play.
"We discussed whether to say doughnut or bagel and obviously we decided to use the wrong word," said Giudicelli, a junior defender from Emerald Hills, Calif., located between San Francisco and San Jose. "There was no anti-Semitism behind that."
Of course, if they had used the term doughnuts, it probably would have been deemed offensive to the obese or the diabetic. You really can't win.