GHS Freshman Football “Hitler” Signal is Unfortunate Preamble to Homecoming Weekend

Cardinal Stadium, file photoAn incident involving a football signal terminology using the term”Hitler” took place on Thursday afternoon by the GHS freshman team in their game against Trumbull resulted in an email to parents from Greenwich High School headmaster Dr. Chris Winters. The Greenwich Football website lists Frank Wells  as the Head Freshmen Coach.

October 14, 2016

Dear Greenwich High School Parents:

It has been brought to our attention that at a football game versus Trumbull High School yesterday afternoon, the Greenwich High School freshman football team used signal calling terminology that was inappropriate and offensive.

As guided by GHS coaches, the term “Hitler” was used to designate the direction of a particular play.  This practice has been stopped.

The GHS football team and coaches are meeting with a representative of the Anti Defamation League today at 3:15 p.m. to ensure that all have a clear understanding as to why the signal calling was offensive.

GHS Administration and the GHS Head Varsity Football coach have reached out to members of the Trumbull community, their principal, and to the local Jewish community through Temple Sholom to express our sincere apology.

Through this message, I extend our apology, on behalf of the Greenwich High School community, to the entire GHS parent body and Greenwich community for this admittedly offensive practice.


Chris Winters


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  • realsaramerica

    From Greenwich Time article: “The play apparently is not something that started this year. It has reportedly been used for years, as has a play called “the Stalin,” according to several sources, including officials from the Anti-Defamation League, who met with GHS players and coaches Friday.

    Levison said she can’t understand why other adults who heard it in the past didn’t think to object.” Exactly. What thinking adult would consider this good idea to model to young people? Are we going to just write this off with “locker room talk” and “boys will be boys”?

    • DaRedPill

      Why didn’t they think to object? Because it’s a football play. And it’s named after a major historical figure. Shall we change the entire playbook into PC language so all the sensitive people in the world won’t be “triggered”?

      Greenwich High School’s motto is “Freedom with Responsibility.” How is a meeting with the ADL, where the entire team learns what words they can and cannot say, conducive to freedom?

  • DaRedPill

    This anti-free speech, politically correct attitude is disturbing. This play had been in use for years, and it wasn’t a problem until now. The team also uses a play called the “Stalin”, who by the way killed way more people than Hitler, but I don’t see anyone complaining about that. Not to mention that “blitz” is a football term–it makes sense that a football team might use the name of a guy who used blitzkrieg tactics as a code word.

    I’m also concerned because this is a clear case of suppression of freedom of speech. Where do we draw the line? What if I think guns are offensive? There goes the shotgun! What if I’m a vegetarian? Say bye to wishbone formation! And if I’m not catholic, why should I have to Hail Mary? Obviously, such a world could not function. My right to free speech does not end where your feelings begin.

    Also, do we not realize how dangerous football is? Kids get concussions and serious injuries all the time…and everyone’s upset that we use the name of a major historical figure as a code word?

    I’m seriously considering finding something that “offends” me, complaining about it, and then enjoying tons of free press, apologies from an entire organization, and hours of “re-education” for the offenders.

    • realsaramerica

      You quote the GHS motto of “Freedom with Responsibility”, and yet you don’t seem to have learned the lesson that with free speech comes a responsibility for civility, or that the words we use have consequences. Let’s see how great it is for property values in Greenwich when if it becomes known, as it was in my youth, for its Antisemitism. A certain real estate broker in town has done a great job of promoting that already.

      • DaRedPill

        Which real estate broker? I have not heard about this yet, but I’ll look into it. What years was this town known for its antisemitism?

        Greenwich has a large Jewish population, and a few synagogues (and even more in Westchester and Stamford). It has had several influential Jewish town members, including selectmen and members of the RTM. And look at what just happened–as soon as the school administration heard about what happened, the coaches got a slap on the wrist, the players were lectured by the ADL, and the school issued an official apology. Greenwich is a far cry from being an antisemitic town.

        The “responsibility” component of freedom of speech is the responsibility to not threaten, mislead, or put people in danger (eg, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater). Saying “Hitler” does not hurt anyone–it merely makes people uncomfortable–and that is ok. Stopping people from saying words that make others uncomfortable will set a dangerous precedent for censorship in the future.

        • realsaramerica

          So very nice of you to explain to the Jewish lady how many synagogues there are in Greenwich “and even more in Westchester and Stamford”(!) like I didn’t know that already. And yes, “influential Jewish town members, including selectmen and members of the RTM.” Funny about that – I serve on the RTM. You have a lot of chutzpah to ask me questions anonymously while making blanket statements about things that aren’t your experience. What about the “nice” (according to Fred Camillo) woman in Old Greenwich who was posting things about how the Jews financed Hitler? Yeah, no anti-Semitism here. None at all. Just like no one dies from opioid overdoses, there’s no domestic violence, everything is just completely perfect here in Greenwich. And I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

  • Ed

    I’m glad they stopped this barbaric practice and explained to these…these…these jocks why it is so offensive. This will help them grow.

    …Into the special snowflakes they’ll need to be when they go to college.

    Teaching them this now helps them understand how in America today, it’s not as important to avoid saying offensive things as it is important to be perpetually offended. By EVERYTHING.