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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – A friendly rivalry took a dramatic turn when players and fans spotted a hate symbol painted on one of the players legs.

It happened as the Orange High School Lions faced the Mentor Lake Catholic Cougars Monday night in boys lacrosse.

“There were whispers,” said Orange Senior Rachel Glazer. “I asked what’s going on and someone said one of the guys on the team has a swastika on the back of his leg and I was like, ‘no way!’ The entire team, even people who aren’t Jewish, were saying how in disbelief they were how upset they were.”

Glazer, who is chief editor for the school’s yearbook and sports photographer, says she was even more shocked when she looked closely at her pictures.

“I couldn’t believe that I actually caught it. It was insane,” Glazer said.

Orange Superintendent Dr. Lynn Campbell says a visitor in the stands was also hurling “racist slurs” toward the team.

“Please know that safety is our top priority, and the board does not tolerate discrimination or harassment. Furthermore, we understand the devastating impact these incidents have on kids and our community. Therefore, our players will be informed about the support we have for them as they try to understand and process this incident,” said Campbell. 

“I am proud of how our athletes took the high road and played with dignity, winning this playoff match in a landslide amidst such upsetting circumstances. Here at Orange, we are proud of and celebrate our diversity, and we are very proud of all of our fine students.”

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland said it is investigating the incident and offered its apologies to Orange High School.

“Administrators at Lake Catholic High School have been made aware of the very serious allegations of anti-Semitism involving a player on the school’s varsity lacrosse team as well as a Lake Catholic fan during the game against Orange High School yesterday evening. The behaviors alleged are reprehensible and contrary to the Gospel values that Lake Catholic works so hard to promote,” the diocese said.

“Lake Catholic and the Diocese of Cleveland condemn anti-Semitism in any form.”

Rachel says the support from the community has been incredible, but she doesn’t understand why they did it.

“You can apologize as much as you want, but really the only thing we can do is be better in the future,” said Glazer. “I just can’t fathom it. I’m Jewish myself and I don’t hate people for not being Jewish. I just don’t understand why.”

There is no word as to when the investigation will be completed, and it’s unlikely that the results will be made public because student discipline is confidential.