Submitted by Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey
Less than 24 hours after the June 19 CIF boys basketball championship between Coronado and Orange Glen, the Coronado Unified School District Board, and other public officials, rushed to judgement by stating unequivocally, without any evidence, that the players’ actions were “fueled by racism, colorism, and classism.”
However, the truth is that none of the CHS players were even interviewed prior to the board’s statement so the board could not possibly have known what “fueled” their actions.
By all accounts, the game was a hard-fought, highly competitive rematch between two great teams. At times, emotions gave way to unsportsmanlike behavior by fans, coaches, and players of both teams.
The CHS team captain has publicly apologized for the unsportsmanlike actions that took place after the game and acknowledged the racial sensitivities surrounding the incident on behalf of the Coronado High School basketball team.
There is a big difference between unsportsmanlike conduct, unsportsmanlike conduct that is racially insensitive, and a racially motivated act.
Unfortunately, the CUSD Board continues to publicly state, without any evidence, that the players’ actions were racially motivated.
After meeting with several of the players and parents, I cannot sit silently while local officials attempt to turn this incident into something unsupported by all available evidence at the expense of our student-athletes and community.
These are the same student-athletes that nominated two players of color to represent them as their team captains. This is the same community that recently elected two Latinas to the CUSD School Board.
It was inappropriate for the CUSD Board to issue a conclusive statement before the investigation began and it would be inappropriate for the CUSD Board to issue a conclusive statement now before the investigation is finished.
However, if the CUSD School Board is sincerely looking for a teachable moment, they should issue an immediate apology for past, unproven statements, and withhold all future judgement about the players until an investigation is completed.
This is the perfect opportunity to teach that the truth still matters.
City of Coronado