ALISO VIEJO (AP) — A high school football game in Southern California turned political after players from a predominantly Latino school were met with cheers of “USA!” when their opponents scored.
Last week’s game between Aliso Niguel and Santa Ana high schools sparked tensions on campus and social media, the Orange County Register reported Tuesday.
Santa Ana principal Jeff Bishop said he and his students were greeted with posters such as “Trump 2020” ‘’We love White” and that cheers of “USA” were offensive to players from his predominantly Latino school, which lost the game, 42-21.
“You’re not playing an international team,” Bishop wrote in a Facebook post after the game. “My students are scholars, dreamers, American citizens. They are good kids. (Aliso Niguel) was not playing against Germany or Mexico. They were playing my kids, 22 minutes down the freeway.”
Aliso Niguel principal Deni Christensen said the game was intended to be a patriotic celebration ahead of Sept. 11 and that administrators removed any political signs. She said the “We love White” sign was part of a trio of signs that also read “We love Red” and “We love Blue.”
Students were asked to stop chanting “USA” after Bishop said he would leave with his team if they didn’t, she said.
Orange County Human Relations has reached out to both schools seeking to facilitate a positive conversation moving forward, said Alison Edwards, executive director.