SANTA MARIA, Calif. (KRON) — A high school basketball game ended with students and supporters from one of the teams erupting into a chant of “Where’s your passport?” as the opposing team’s principal confronts them.
It happened between St. Joseph High School and Righetti High in Santa Maria on Feb. 11.
The Santa Maria Times reports that supporters from Righetti High – the visiting team that ended up losing 74-57 – started the chant during the last few seconds of the game.
Video was shot by the Times’ sports editor and posted on social media.
The basketball coach of St. Joseph High’s team told the paper he felt the chant from the rival supporters was not motivated by race.
“I honestly think they were unaware they said a racist thing,” Mott said. “They did not intend for it to be racist.”
The Santa Rosa Times reports three students on St. Joseph’s team are from Puerto Rico and one is from France.
Erinn Dougherty, the principal of St. Joseph’s who is seen towards the end of the video angrily confronting the team after the end of the game, called the chant “racially charged rhetoric” but added that she didn’t think the students realized “what they were saying.”