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High School Basketball Coach Fired After Team Throws Tortillas At Latino Opponents Following Championship Game

It’s actually unbelievable that some people still behave this way in public (or anywhere, really) in 2021!

Get a f**king clue!!!

A high school basketball coach in the San Diego area was fired this week after an ugly incident this past weekend involving his team and an opposing club from a rival high school.

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This past Saturday, a division championship playoff basketball game between two southern California high schools took a very, very nasty turn. After the match between Orange Glen High School and Coronado High School ended — with Coronado the winner by three points — some people allegedly threw tortillas at the losing team.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange Glen is “a predominantly Latino school,” and understandably, outraged witnesses are calling out the tortilla-throwing incident as racist.

Consequences have come swiftly, at least. For one, on Tuesday, the Coronado Unified School Board met and voted unanimously to fire basketball coach JD Laaperi in response to the incident. Witnesses at the game reported that after the final buzzer, Laaperi at one point turned to an Orange Glen coach and yelled (below):

“That’s why you don’t talk s**t! Get your kid and get the f**k out of here.”

WTF?! Dude, calm down. You won the game…

While the school board did not offer further comment on the matter, the newspaper reports their decision was unanimous, coming down 5-0 in favor of firing the coach immediately.

Laaperi himself tried to get out ahead of the firing by releasing a statement about the ugly post-game altercation on Sunday (below):

“Unfortunately a community member brought tortillas and distributed them which was unacceptable and racist in nature. I do not condone this behavior. Coronado High School does not condone this behavior and is already taking appropriate action.”

Too little, too late for the now-canned coach, though.

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Laaperi aside, there is still considerable community outrage over the tortilla-throwing problem.

Wayne McKinney, who is the captain of the Coronado basketball team, spoke up at the school board meeting and claimed that none of the people associated with the team were the ones involved in throwing the tortillas. He said (below):

“It was not based on race or class; it was simply a great game between two teams. I think many people are making Saturday out to be something it was not.”

That sounds nice, and we’d love it to be true for McKinney’s sake, but the newspaper straight-up reports that “video footage of the tortilla throwing appears to show some Coronado players throwing the tortillas, however.”

Womp, womp…

Here’s video from CBS 8 San Diego showing exactly that:

And another clip showing different angles, and updating more on the incident’s aftermath:

Wow…

At the meeting, Coronado School Board president Lee Pontes told attendees:

“No matter the intent of the tosser, the ethnic implications are unavoidable; they’re undeniable. I do not believe in my heart that our students, our staff, many kind people of Coronado, I do not believe them to be racist. But I do believe we have much to learn about racial diversity and I hope to do so … tonight.”

And school trustee Whitney Antrim echoed him, adding:

“Even if they were not intended as racist, we cannot ignore that our guests, these children who played their hearts out for a championship, felt attacked because they were Hispanic.”

The school board also sent a collective letter to Orange Glen on Monday, doubling down on the incident as “reprehensible” and adding:

“The Trustees of the Coronado Unified School District acknowledge these acts to be egregious, demeaning and disrespectful. We condemn the racism, classism and colorism which fueled the actions of the perpetrators.”

The school district is now in the midst of a full investigation, working jointly with Coronado police officers and the California Interscholastic Federation.

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On Wednesday, the self-proclaimed source of the tortillas spoke out as well, claiming there was “absolutely no racial intent” with his choice of demonstration after Coronado’s 60-57 win.

Uhhh…

Luke Serna, who told the paper he is half-Mexican, explained in a letter to the school board (below):

“There was not a shred of ill-intent or racial animus in carrying out this celebratory action. Those who have enflamed this issue into a racially charged issue should be utterly ASHAMED of themselves.”

Serna attended Coronado High School, and later graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara — where he says he got the idea to bring the tortillas in the first place. For decades at UCSB basketball games, it’s been a tradition to throw tortillas on the court after their team scores the first points of each game, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That tradition hasn’t come without controversy over the years, though, as UCSB officials have tried screen students before games to keep them from bringing tortillas into the arena. The team has periodically been penalized by officials throughout the years for the delay caused, as well.

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Why Serna felt like this particular game against a predominantly Latino team was suddenly the first time to try out his stupid tortilla idea is a choice, y’all. Also, based on that video (above), it’s not like the fans are throwing the tortillas on the court in a general celebration! And it didn’t come after the game’s first points! The tortilla-throwers are VERY clearly directing the pieces towards the Orange Glen players, and after the game was over and Coronado had already won!

Seems pretty f**king obvious to us. Super s**tty! And racist! Sorry, not sorry AT ALL!!!

Thoughts?? Sound OFF with your take on this touchy subject down in the comments (below)…

[Image via CBS 8 San Diego/YouTube]

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