Probe into Coventry University dodgeball team accused of antisemitism - The Coventry Observer

8th Aug, 2022

Probe into Coventry University dodgeball team accused of antisemitism

Felix Nobes 13th Feb, 2019 Updated: 13th Feb, 2019

A COVENTRY University dodgeball team is under investigation amid allegations its members wore t-shirts emblazoned with swastikas and the words ‘The Jews Deserved It’ on a night out.

Images from a ‘white-t-shirt’ student event at the Empire nightclub in the city circulated on social media prompting widespread anger.

Popular on university campuses across the UK, this type of social event involves students writing remarks – sometimes obscene – on their colleagues’ t-shirts.

The photos show two team members with a number of offensive and antisemitic comments written across their t-shirts.

The team has now been suspended by the university while a probe is launched.

The images surfaced just over a week after the city marked international Holocaust Memorial Day.

A team announcement on Facebook read: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, training and Wednesday night socials will be cancelled until further notice.”

A Coventry University spokesperson said on Monday: “We are deeply concerned about this matter.

“We’re investigating and will take disciplinary action against any student of the university who is involved.”

A Coventry University Jewish Society spokesperson told student newspaper The Tab: “We were shocked to see such hurtful and hateful antisemitic language written on the shirts of our fellow students. It’s unbelievable for students to think appropriate to draw Swastikas paired with ‘the Jews deserved it’ on their t-shirts and think nothing is wrong.

“The systematic murder of six million Jews is no laughing matter and this incident shows a lack of education surrounding the events of 70 years ago.

“We expect both the Students Union and the university to take appropriate action which at the very least will send a message that no form of Antisemitism will be tolerated.

“We have been in contact with the SU who are offering support to our members and taking our concerns seriously.

“If anyone sees any form of anti-Semitism or hate crime we urge student to report the incidents to the University, Student Union, Community Security Trust and the Union of Jewish Students.”

A spokesperson for the national Union of Jewish Students on Monday said: “UJS and Coventry JSoc are once again dismayed to see another incident of anti-semitic language written on t-shirts at a student party.

“Students at Coventry University deemed it appropriate to draw swastikas and write ‘The Jews Deserved it’ on their t-shirts.

“This year academic year we have already seen antisemitic incidents at ‘white-T-shirt parties’ in Plymouth, Lancaster and Newcastle, all revolving around the Holocaust.

“There can be no excuse for the deliberate trivialisation of the greatest trauma in recent Jewish history.

“We will be reaching out to Coventry University Students’ Union and Coventry University.

“We expect appropriate action taken to demonstrate that such behaviour is unacceptable.”

Coventry University Students’ Union president Tochukwu Ajare said: “We were made aware of images on social media of two of our students wearing t-shirts with anti-semitic and other offensive imagery and writing on them.

“We understand these pictures were taken during a social event at a CUSU affiliated sports club.

“We have immediately suspended the club while we look into the matter.

“We do not tolerate anti-semitism or any form of hate crime.

“We will fully support the university in any disciplinary action it may take.”

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