Largely Latino Team Pelted With Tortillas By Opponents

San Diego-area school district apologizes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 21, 2021 5:12 PM CDT
District Apologizes After Tortillas Are Thrown at Rival Players
Stock photo.   (Getty/Augustas Cetkauskas)

A San Diego-area school district has apologized for an incident in which tortillas were hurled at a basketball team from a mostly Latino high school after a championship game. The tortillas were thrown at players from Orange Glen High after they lost a hard-fought game to a team from mostly white Coronado High School on Saturday, the AP reports. According to video shared on social media, at least two Coronado players threw tortillas. Some fans threw them as well, per KGTV. "The Trustees of the Coronado Unified School District acknowledge these acts to be egregious, demeaning and disrespectful," the school board said in a letter to Orange Glen. The trustees said they condemned "the racism, classism, and colorism which fueled the actions of the perpetrators." The Coronado superintendent, Karl Mueller, said the incident was "reprehensible," and he promised "swift action" and accountability.

The throwing began as the coaching staffs of the two boys' teams were squabbling after Coronado won 60-57 in overtime on its home court. Orange Glen head coach Chris Featherly said Coronado head coach JD Laaperi made disrespectful comments toward him and his players, and Featherly confronted him. Laaperi said Sunday that district officials asked him to not comment, but he did make a remark on Twitter on Saturday night. "Unfortunately a community member brought tortillas and distributed them which was unacceptable and racist in nature," he wrote. "I do not condone this behavior. Coronado High School does not condone this behavior and is already taking appropriate action." The Coronado Police Department, which was called to help clear the gym after the game, said that a man who brought the tortillas to the game was identified and that there will be a follow-up investigation. "We're predominately Hispanic and Latino, so it like, took us pretty hard," an assistant coach for Orange Glen said.

(More racism stories.)

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