CORONADO, Calif. – Tensions continue to rise in the wake of what is being described as a racist end to a basketball game at Coronado High School over the weekend.
“Those children, whoever the perpetrators were, need to understand the actions and the harm that was done not just to Orange Glen, but also to the immigrant community where they came from and also all Latinos,” Immigration attorney Esther Valdés Clayton said.
She is describing the moment Saturday when tortillas were thrown at players from Orange Glen High School from the predominantly Latino Escondido Union School District. It came when Orange Glen players approached the opposing team for the postgame handshake.
Mark Madore, a guard playing for Orange Glen, said he’s never experienced anything like that. Coming into the matchup, Madore said it was “very exciting” and that “we were just hyped.” He said both teams played their hearts out in the regional championship game, which Coronado High narrowly won.
They were lining up to shake hands, he said. Instead, he feels the team was targeted by those in attendance.
“I felt like we were really disrespected,” he said.
His father, also named Mark Madore, couldn’t believe what he had witnessed.
“What happened cannot be tolerated,” the elder Madore said. “I see a sign back here, strip them of the championship. No, it’s not the championship that needs to be stripped; we have to go directly to the coach and his staff,”
He and other Orange Glen parents said the Coronado High School coaching staff was disrespectful, alleging that he even told Orange Glen players to “get off his court.”
“The fact that those children had to be insulted in front of their parents during a championship game that they had not witnessed in more than 10 years, it was an insult that every Latino across the nation and who has seen the video understood,” Clayton said.
Both Coronado and the Escondido Union High School District have emergency meetings scheduled for Tuesday evening.