Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game title=
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game
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Video by Joe Bailey / Santa Maria Times

By edhat staff

Righetti High School students started a xenophobic chant during a high school basketball game against St. Joseph on Tuesday.

"Where's your passport?" was chanted over and over again from students and supporters of Righetti High School. A writer for Santa Maria Times caught the incident on camera towards the end of the game. The two high schools have a long-standing rivalry.

The video also shows administrators from both sides getting into a heated discussion, seemingly about the chant and conduct of their students and fans. The woman in green has been identified as Erinn Dougherty, Principal of St. Joseph, who appears to become emotional at the end of the video.

It has since sparked discussions and accusations of racism and xenophobia. St. Joseph High School has one player from France and three players from Puerto Rico, a United States territory where residents do not need passports.

St. Joseph has been criticized for its recruitment of players. Their basketball coach and Athletic Director, Tom Mott, previously resigned from Mission Prep in San Luis Obispo in 2006 following an investigation into his recruiting of players. Righetti High School and its supporters have pointed to the private school's recruiting as unfair.

A tweet from February 7 posted by Righetti High School points to the contention as they commend their girl's basketball team for winning without overseas recruiting. "That’s 4 Championships in the last 5 years...   and they don’t have to recruit overseas !!!" the tweet reads.

After backlash online, Righetti students came forward to state students and supporters from St. Joseph were also chanting racist remarks, reports the Santa Maria Times.

"We are aware of the unacceptable comments exchanged from both sides of the basketball court during the heated rivalry between St. Joseph and Righetti High School Tuesday night. The incident is being addressed by SMJUHSD and RHS school officials. We have no further comment at this time, said Kenny Klein, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Public Information Officer, in a public statement.

"We are disappointed about the way the boys basketball game against Righetti High School ended on Tuesday night. We do not tolerate any type of inappropriate statements made at any student especially if they could be interpreted as disrespectful. We hope that this can be a lesson in sportsmanship and mutual respect for students from both schools," according to a statement from St. Joseph High School.

The video garnered over a thousand comments on social media with some calling the school racist, others defending the chant, and some stating both sides were at fault.

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yin yang Feb 14, 2020 07:54 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

What disturbed me when I read about this on Feb. 11 in the Santa Maria Times, in the Sports section, before it had blown up and people would be more careful in their pronouncements, was this quote from Mott: "Kids are going to do whatever they're going to do and our guys enjoy playing in great atmospheres like this," said Mott, who's also St. Joseph's athletic director, when asked about the chant. "Anything our crowd or their crowd does is just part of the game."
Anything done is just part of the game?! Does he really believe this?! If so, that is terrible. It leaves open the possibility of ANY behavior. I also dearly hope that they/the curriculum is teaching students that Puerto Ricans are AMERICAN CITIZENS who do not need green cards! **********************************************************************************************************

yin yang Feb 14, 2020 08:10 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

I don't mean to criticize one side over the other. Righetti, or ANY school, chanting about passports offends me. There have been many recent news reports of kids playing or NOT playing with Confederate and Nazi signs and symbols; meanings and philosophies. We've all seen reports of brown and black kids versus white kids on school campuses. I believe kids and their families should be called out and EDUCATED for this kind of behavior. But when it's 16-18 year olds doing it... It's hard to justify. Oftentimes, punishment is valid. I did one similar thing when I was 6 or 7 years old, influenced by the documentaries my Eastern European, Jewish-rooted family watched. I was playing outside with a "gun" stick over my shoulder and marching around and I said Heil Hitler. Mind you, we attended temple at the time. I was playing war, and acting out what I'd been exposed to. Not that anyone does that anymore, right? I wonder what games Syrian kids, for instance, play... Sorry. Got lost in musings.

a-1581737166 Feb 14, 2020 07:26 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

I used to coach for St Jo. When we played Righetti the athletes were rude and cruel. Mine was a small team with no chance of winning but never the less were harassed with nasty remarks on skill levels and personal appearance until some of my girls were crying in the dressing room. Their coach said "just kids" There should be consequences for BAD behavior! They are old enough to know better.

RHS Feb 14, 2020 10:20 AM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

All over the US high school athletics has been compromised, exploited and corrupted by money. Every parochial school (Protestant, Catholic especially) has tried to raise their profile by fielding powerful teams. This involves buying (scholarships) players that would have normally been in neighborhood schools. In addition, we have "academy" schools that are 100% for developing future professional athletes. These semi-pro level programs are funded by big money alums and private contributions which are enchanted with the success of the program. Not a lot of discussion as to the academic work, more about the athletic work. Really a result of our free enterprise system in which making money is the end all of life. Sad loss for the old fashioned values of local culture and schools and opportunity for all.

Luvaduck Feb 14, 2020 05:49 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

Athletic teams at any school at any level whose stated <purpose> is education should not be subsided "farm teams" for pro sports. The "they're a big fund raiser" alibi is neither true or in agreement with any fiscal reporting that includes all the subsidies including stadium, travel, specialized medical/dental and the rest of the costs to field teams.

a-1581671894 Feb 14, 2020 01:18 AM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

High schools are now recruiting overseas students to play on their teams? Get a life and get over yourselves. Rival schools have always chanted at each other. Bishop cheerleaders used to chant “ Carp sucks lemons” Wonder what they chant now?

CoastWatch Feb 13, 2020 07:16 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

The way EVERYONE throws the "racist" word around these days, I would venture to guess we are ALL racists to an extent... The more people want to have their entire identity based on their race instead of being a member of OUR society and working together, the more it's pointed out that we are all "different"... Therein lies the problem with BS terms like "diversity"- It just points out and creates division where there was once none... P/C gone wrong in our society.

a-1581647692 Feb 13, 2020 06:34 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

I had a friend who taught at St. Joseph's. She said it was a toxic environment. I went to Catholic schools for 10 years. Close minded and inbred with entitlement. No way should there be vouchers to use public funds for religious schools. Ergo, avoid Andy Caldwell like the plague.

winter Feb 13, 2020 06:01 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

I moved here 16 years ago...UCSB, some of the high schools, had the tradition, of throwing tortillas , on to the field...never got it..probably harmless rivalry...now, if that was viral...yikes

a-1581645280 Feb 13, 2020 05:54 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

Years ago, when our basketball team headed north, the racism was really out there. Some schools obviously didn't like black players in their locker rooms. North as in Morro Bay, Atascadero, and other very racist communities up in SLO.

a-1581629963 Feb 13, 2020 01:39 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

Gaucho basketball games used to chant "State School, State School, State School" whenever the Big West played And it wasn't because all the students thought they were elite to all the lame-brained lesser students at the state colleges. It Was Just A Competitive joke! As it was here. What's happening now a days is as if the dictionary has been digitally opened for the first time as big words get to iPhones and everyone acts as if they just discovered English for the first time. Relax. The kids meant nothing personal. At absolute worst it was misguided. My gosh.

Chip of SB Feb 13, 2020 01:21 PM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

If the motive behind the chant was frustration at having to compete against top athletes recruited from around the world instead of local students, I don't think it's necessarily fair to construe that as racist. However, determining whether something is racist / offensive / unacceptable can be very complicated. For example, in some situations making fun of or even attacking a person or group of people based on their identity is acceptable as illustrated in this recent discussion by a CNN panel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1rJBsUchoo However, imagine if these CNN panelists had been mocking the accents and cultural traditions of people from urban inner city areas. It is not so much what they said or did that matters. Rather, it is who they are and who their statements where directed at that determine whether what they did is acceptable. I think it is fascinating that the identities of the persons involved are the determining factor. I have come up with a simple test that I believe can help people accurately determine whether a questionable statement is acceptable or not. Ask yourself, if the person making the statement and the person they are making the statement about both applied to college and had identical academic qualifications, who would be preferred in the admissions process. If the person who made the questionable statement would be favored in the college admissions process due to their racial background, gender identity, or other non-academic factors over the person they made the statement about, the statement is acceptable. However, if the person the statement applies to would be favored in a college admissions process over the person who made the statement due to those factors , then the statement is racist / offensive / unacceptable. I hope that one day our society will become "color blind" and none of these issues will be relevant anymore. However, for the time being I think this test can provide helpful guidance when trying to evaluate whether something is racist / offensive / unacceptable in a complicated situation.

ChillinGrillin Feb 13, 2020 10:35 AM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

Xenophobia is ignorant and disgusting. Everybody except the natives came here from another country. Even Trump's grandpa, who fulfilled his family's purpose of being pimps and conmen when he opened a hotel full of prostitutes in Alaska.

PitMix Feb 13, 2020 11:04 AM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

A French person is from a european culture, hence the xenophobia (dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries). A lot of this comes out our isolation from the world and current politics are not making it better.

sbres Feb 13, 2020 10:17 AM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

"After backlash online, Righetti students came forward to state students and supporters from St. Joseph were also chanting racist remarks, reports the Santa Maria Times." - guess it's okay if the other team is doing it......NOT

AdamVant Feb 13, 2020 10:16 AM
Xenophobic Chant at Orcutt Basketball Game

Stupid kids acting stupid. For punishment, make the Righetti team play a game at home with no Righetti students allowed in the gym.

For the worst student chant of all time, look up Steve Kerr vs. Arizona State.

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