A mostly white high school basketball team in Southern California has been stripped of its regional title after tortillas were thrown at a predominately Latino opposing team following a championship game last month, officials announced Wednesday.
“After a thorough review and analysis of the incident following the conclusion of the Division 4-A regional basketball championship game between Coronado High School and Orange Glen High School, the (California Interscholastic Federation) state executive director reiterates that discriminatory and racially insensitive behaviors toward an opponent contravene the principles of education-based athletics,” the federation said in a news release.
Based on investigations of the incident, “The 2021 Southern California Boys Basketball Division 4-A Regional Championship is vacated,” the release states.
On June 19, Orange Glen High School’s predominantly Latino team lost the championship game to largely white Coronado High School.
After the game, some members of the Coronado crowd threw tortillas at the opposing team’s athletes following several heated disputes on the basketball court, according to witnesses and video footage.
The federation further sanctioned Coronado’s basketball team and placed members on probation through the end of the 2024 school year, according to the news release.
The team and its athletic staff are also required to complete a sportsmanship workshop, which includes training on racial and cultural sensitivity.
“In this instance, there is no doubt the act of throwing tortillas at a predominately Latino team is unacceptable and warrants sanctions,” the release states.
“The path towards real change comes with the development of empathy for those who are on the receiving end of this type of degrading and demeaning behavior, no matter the proffered intent of that behavior.”
The Escondido School Board, which manages Orange Glen High School, unanimously approved a resolution last month denouncing racism and discrimination after the clash.
The resolution affirms the district’s support for equity, safety, and the well-being of all students. It also pledges to fight racism in all forms to dismantle practices that limit opportunities for students to receive a safe and high-quality education.