Basketball Coach Fired After Incident Involving Tortillas Being Thrown At Mostly Latino Team

by : Niamh Shackleton on :
Basketball Coach Fired After Incident Involving Tortillas Being Thrown At Mostly Latino TeamABC 10 News/Pixabay

A school board has voted to fire a basketball coach after his team reportedly threw tortillas at the opposition. 

Players of the team coached by JD Laaperi of Coronado High School, California, threw the tortillas, a traditional Mexican food, at players from a school largely made up of Latino students.


The incident occurred after coaching staff at Coronado High School, a mainly white school, got into an argument with its competitors from Orange Glen High School of Escondido. Coronado reportedly beat their opposition by three points in the match.

Witnesses of the altercation between the coaching staff alleged that Laaperi told them to ‘get your kids and get the f*ck out of here’. A video was also shared of Coronado students apparently throwing tortillas at Orange Glen kids.


In the wake of the students’ actions, Laaperi condemned their behaviour. Taking to Twitter, he wrote on Monday, June 20, ‘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.’


He also retweeted a tweet that read, ‘Coronado staff says they’ve identified the fan and players who threw tortillas at OG players and coaches and vowed swift disciplinary action.’

Despite Laaperi’s condemnation of the incident, the Coronado Unified School Board voted 5-0 yesterday, June 22, to sack the high school basketball coach.

Captain of Coronado’s basketball team, Wayne McKinney, has since defended the players’ actions and said they weren’t intended as racist.


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He explained, ‘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.’

However, Coronado school trustee Whitney Antrim said at last night’s meeting, as per ABC News:

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.

Last night’s vote also saw the board discuss student discipline, but while they’re yet to take any action against the students involved in the incident, Coronado police, the California Interscholastic Federation, and both school districts are conducting investigations.

Coronado High School (NBC San Diego)NBC San Diego

Following the investigations, Escondido Union High School District Superintendent Anne Staffieri hopes to bring together the students from both teams to ‘face one another, to confront, discuss and grow stronger through honest discussions and sincere apologies’.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, fired, Sport, US News


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    California school coach fired after tortillas thrown at team