Tortillas thrown at team from Latino California school

California

Chef Jesus Saldivar kneads ground, red corn before feeding it into the tortilla making machine at El Pujol Mill in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. The shop is part of a new tortilla movement launched by a handful of chefs, restaurants and organizations to restore and popularize authentic tortillas, made of only corn, water and lime or calcium carbonate. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

CORONADO, Calif. (AP) — 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 San Diego Union-Tribune reported. According to video shared on social media, at least two Coronado players threw tortillas.

“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 Union-Tribune said the tortilla tossing began as coaching staff from both sides 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 told the Union-Tribune by phone on 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 a man who brought the tortillas to the game was identified and there will be a follow up investigation.

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