San Diego

Coronado High School alum admits he brought tortillas to game against Orange Glen

Wednesday night time Coaches for Racial Equality met to focus on how to heal and transfer ahead from the racially charged incident.

CORONADO, Calif. — A Coronado High School alumni who claims he was the one who brought the tortillas to the now notorious basketball game mentioned it was not an act of racism.


Coaches and fogeys across the county say given the push for racial justice a lot of these acts can’t be ignored.

Cellphone video from Saturday exhibits tortillas thrown by CHS followers and gamers at these from Orange Glen High School, a predominately Latino college in Escondido.

The man who brought the 4 baggage of tortillas is Coronado class of 1999 alum Luke Serna.

In a textual content, he referred News 8 to a Coronado Times article for his model of what occurred.

He mentioned he’s half Mexican and went to college with the previous CHS basketball coach J.D. Laaperi who was fired Tuesday night time after the incident.

Serna mentioned the tortilla toss was not racially motivated however a U.C. Santa Barbara custom to throw tortillas after a victory. That custom has stopped.

The 40-year-old added the outcry from individuals who reside exterior of Coronado is coming from racial opportunists.

Mesa College Men’s Basketball coach Travis Nichols isn’t shopping for it.

“I’m hearing people say, ‘it has a whole total different meaning and the meaning wasn’t racist.’ C’mon that’s not being truthful. That’s not being truthful if you can’t feel the pain,” mentioned Nichols.

He is a part of the Coaches for Racial Equality San Diego who met Wednesday night time of their bi-weekly meeting to focus on how to get forward of this.

“You don’t forget and we want to learn from this and move forward,” mentioned Mike Stutz, Madison High Men’s Varsity Basketball coach.

Other Coronado coaches had been on the Zoom and shared their curiosity in rising from this and tearing down the stereotypes.

“I need to learn how to get ahead of this for myself and my team and my program and stop pointing fingers and move forward and heal,” mentioned Peter Ruiz, Coronado High women basketball coach.

Jalen Lake, Amateur Athletic Union Coach and assistant CHS coach mentioned he doesn’t like that persons are making an attempt to painting Laaperi as a racist and mentioned not one of the coaches are racist. He mentioned there was a confrontation main up to the tortilla toss.

“What took place, there was no place for it that night. I will say things lead up to it between coaches and coaches’ staff unfortunately but I do feel like both sides need to be held accountable. But there is no place in the world for racism,” mentioned Lake.

Coaches for Racial Equality San Diego was fashioned final year after the demise of George Floyd by Lincoln High males’s head basketball coach, Jeff Harper-Harris.

“I think it’s definitely as coaches and adults we are having that conversation but we also need that conversation for student-athletes to have,” mentioned Harper-Harris. “I want the conversation to happen, I want us to continue because we are not going to stop,”

The group goals to educate and combine coaches, gamers, dad and mom, and followers right into a imaginative and prescient for racial reconciliation.

“In the beginning, people said racial stuff didn’t happen in San Diego County and since then we’ve had two or three incidents within the last three or four months,” mentioned Lisa Saward, mom.

Last month the governing board San Diego City Conference, suspended Cathedral Catholic High School’s soccer coach for 2 video games and put the staff on a two-year probation. The staff should implement a restorative training program after a participant shared photographs of individuals carrying “Catholic vs Convicts” t-shirts earlier than a game against Lincoln High School, made up of predominantly Black and Hispanic college students.

“There are some people who are mad about the Coronado thing but not the Lincoln Cathedral thing and said, ‘get over it Jeff, it’s a t-shirt,’” mentioned Harper-Harris.

Coaches mentioned an fairness program wants to be carried out in all faculties.

“Maybe it becomes a curriculum for coaches,” mentioned Harper-Harris.

Coaches mentioned it’s a small step that can make an enormous distinction to finish hate.

“I want those people who don’t look like me to understand why I’m angry and don’t downplay it but help us to find solutions so that this stuff does not happen,” mentioned Nichols.

On Tuesday, the Coronado school board mentioned its investigation may final three weeks and it entails the Escondido Union High School District, Coronado Police and the CIF.


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