A San Diego-area school district has apologized for a basketball postgame incident in which tortillas were thrown at a team from a mostly Latino high school.
The incident occurred after a championship game between Orange Glen and Coronado on Saturday, won 60-57 in overtime by Coronado on its home floor. Following the game, Orange Glen head coach Chris Featherly said Coronado head coach JD Laaperi made disrespectful remarks toward him and his players, leading to a confrontation in which tortillas were thrown at Orange Glen players, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Video shared on social media shows at least two players from Coronado, a predominantly white school, threw tortillas.
“The Trustees of the Coronado Unified School District acknowledge these acts to be egregious, demeaning and disrespectful,” the district said in a letter to Orange Glen. The trustees said they condemned “the racism, classism and colorism which fueled the actions of the perpetrators.”
Coronado Superintendent Karl Mueller said the incident was “reprehensible” and he promised “swift action” and accountability.
Orange Glen assistant coach Lizardo Reynoso told CBS San Diego that the team was disturbed by the action, especially the Hispanic players.
“They understand that there’s a lot of racism and hate going on today, but to top that off with a defeat after working so hard all year, it’s like a slap in the face,” Reynoso said.
The Escondido Union High School District, where Orange Glen is located, said it has been in contact with the Coronado Unified School District and understand action will be taken to address the situation.
“We do not tolerate racism, cultural disrespect, or any other behaviors that demean others. We remain committed, as a district, to creating safe spaces for all our students. What we do to combat racism and cultural disrespect must extend beyond the classroom and school campus,” the statement said.
The Coronado Police Department said it identified a man who brought tortillas to the game and will follow up with an investigation. The California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body of the state’s high school sports, said it will review the incident and is working with both schools to address the situation, according to CBS San Diego.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.
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