California high school basketball game ends in 'racist' chant

California high school basketball game ends in 'racist' chant

A video has gone viral on social media this week, which shows a group of high school students supposedly chanting a racist chant at an inter-school basketball game.

The video in question was allegedly filmed during a match held between home team St. Joseph High School (a private school) and visiting academy Righetti High (a public school located across the street) in the town of Santa Maria in California.

Take a look at the video of the incident below:

According to a video later shared to Twitter by Santa Maria Times sports editor Joe Bailey, visiting team Righetti High (who lost the game 74-57) supposedly began taunting their opponents in the final seconds of the game. The students can be heard crying out: "Go get your passports" at the team from SJHS.

When the video hit social media, a number of Twitter users expressed their outrage over the Righetti High School students' use of language, while others commended a woman in a green blouse (later identified as St. Joeseph's principal Erinn Dougherty) for her condemnation of the chanters:

Commenting on the incident per the New York Post, St. Joseph basketball coach Tom Mott stated: "I honestly think [the Righettit students] were unaware they said a racist thing. They did not intend for it to be racist... It’s just sad that kids who are 15, 16, or 17 years old are called out for what they look like or where they’re from."

Meanwhile, per the NYP, Principal Erinn Dougherty told the Santa Maria Times: "Just because I will not allow certain xenophobic statements to be made at my campus and I don’t want racially charged rhetoric here, doesn’t mean that I don’t love and respect the students of this whole community."

A basketball court. Credit: Pexels

She continued: "Not just the St. Joe students but the whole community. I think they were good kids who didn’t realize what they were saying ... I’ve made mistakes and I probably made a mistake charging over there."

She added: "All I can say is that I wished that I hadn’t scolded another administrator’s students. Obviously, that had upset him, but I was in the mode of taking care of kids."