Exploring toxic culture in youth sports

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Fans watch the Harvard football team playing Brown in Cambridge at Harvard Stadium. (Lisa Poole/AP)
Fans watch the Harvard football team playing Brown in Cambridge at Harvard Stadium. (Lisa Poole/AP)

An investigation into allegations about racism and homophobia in the Danvers High School men's hockey team continues.

It's the latest in a string of scandals in local high school sports: anti-Semitic titles for play calls used by the Duxbury High School football team, a fight during a game between Roxbury Prep and Georgetown High School where the Roxbury Prep football players claim Georgetown players and fans hurled racist insults, and students from Catholic Memorial chanting anti-Semitic taunts at a basketball playoff game at Newton North High School.

For many, these instances of hate clash with how much sports can be an integral part of school and family life: Saturdays spent at the softball field or baseball diamond. Years of friendships formed in carpools and at pizza parlors after games, the parades, awards nights, dreams of scholarships or just a little recognition in the local paper.

So, what's going on? Do we have something deeper to confront, and how do we square these ugly reports with such a cherished part of New England life?

We take your calls on this with Dan Lebowitz, the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society out of Northeastern University and Danika Manso-Brown,  the Director of Education with the Anti-Defamation League of New England.

This segment aired on November 10, 2021.

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Tiziana Dearing Host, Radio Boston
Tiziana Dearing is the host of Radio Boston.


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Amanda Beland Producer/Director
Amanda Beland is a producer and director for Radio Boston. She also reports for the WBUR newsroom.



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