A California High School has had its division regional championship title revoked by the state’s high school sports governing body on Wednesday after a tortilla throwing incident following a June 19 match.
The Division 4-A regional championship of Coronado High School was placed on probation on grounds of “discriminatory and racially insensitive behavior” after its match against Escondido’s Orange Glen High School, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) said.
Throwing of Tortillas
‘In this instance, there is no doubt the act of throwing tortillas at a predominately Latino team is unacceptable and warrants sanctions,” the CIF said in a statement.
Authorities placed the school in question on probation until 2024 and suspended it from hosting postseason contests at the section, regional or state levels until 2023. They are also implementing a mandatory sportsmanship workshop for Coronado High Schools administrators, athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes.
The workshops would include racial and cultural sensitivity training. Additionally, school administrators and athletic directors of the high school would be required to complete game management training, the CIF said.
After the incident, the Coronado Unified School Board unanimously voted in support of firing Coronado head coach JD Laaperi last week. Witnesses who were at the scene said the head coach cursed at an Orange Glen coach when the match ended. They alleged he said, “That’s why you don’t talk (expletive). Get your kids and get the (expletive) out of here.
Shortly after the encounter between the coaches, at least two Coronado student-athletes were seen throwing tortillas at the Orange Glen team, as seen in video footage posted on social media platforms, Fox News reported.
The Southern California man who brought the tortillas to the game was half Mexican and said there was no racial intent behind tossing them into the air. “Those who have enflamed this issue into a racially charged issue should be utterly ashamed of themselves. The people who have fallen for this frame-up to smear Coach Laaperi are not worthy of being any part of the discussion regarding this event as it is their intent to try and fan the flames of racism where none existed,” Luke Serna said.