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California HS Basketball Coach Fired Following Tortillas Incident at Game

A California high school basketball coach was fired by the local school board earlier this week, days after someone threw tortillas at an opposing team during a weekend game.

According to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune, during a weekend divisional championship game between Coronado High and Orange Glen High, at least two people threw tortillas at the Orange Glen team.

tortillasSome claimed the act to be racist, where the Orange Glen school is predominantly Latino, the Union-Tribune reported. Others, the paper said, it was too soon to jump to conclusions. Nevertheless, the Coronado school board held a special meeting to get more facts about the incident.

The Union-Tribune reported, according to witnesses, that Coronado head basketball coach JD Laaperi allegedly cursed at an Orange Glen coach after the game, saying, “That’s why you don’t talk (expletive). Get your kids and get the (expletive) out of here.”

Shortly thereafter, the board showed video that began circulating on social media of at least two Coronado players tossing tortillas in the air toward the Orange Glen team, the Union-Tribune reported.

Coronado Unified School District, Escondido Union High School District, Coronado police, and the California Interscholastic Federation are all conducting investigations of the incident. The behavior of members of the Coronado and Orange Glen teams is under investigation, officials told the Union-Tribune.

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At a press conference Tuesday afternoon in front of Coronado High, several community members called for the firing of Laaperi, whom they blamed for starting the chaos on Saturday. In a tweet Sunday, Laaperi said it was a community member who “unfortunately” brought tortillas to the game, which Laaperi said was “unacceptable and racist in nature.”

Superintendent Karl Mueller sent out a press release on Sunday apologizing and calling the throwing of the tortillas reprehensible.

Many at the press conference said an apology from Coronado is not good enough for them. They also want diversity training, ethnic studies, and other racial equity initiatives for Coronado High.

To read the full story from the San Diego Union-Tribune, click here