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Coronado High Basketball Coach JD Laaperi Fired Over Tortilla-Throwing Incident

SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) — The coach of a basketball team whose players were seen throwing tortillas at an opposing team of mostly Latino players has been fired.

The Coronado Unified's school board voted unanimously to fire Coach JD Laaperi at its meeting Tuesday night, but did not take action against any of the students involved.

The incident unfolded Saturday night, after Coronado beat Orange Glen High School 60-57 in overtime. Coronado's basketball team captain, Wayne McKinney, said Laaperi had nothing to do with the incident and apologized to Orange Glen.

"The tortillas were brought by someone not associated with the team, however, the throwing of the tortillas during the scuffle after the game was unsportsmanlike and inexcusable," he said.

Laaperi tweeted that a member of the community had brought the tortillas. Coronado resident Luke Serna has since come forward to say he brought four bags of tortillas to the game, but he told the Coronado Times that throwing them was supposed to be celebratory and not racially motivated.

Police and the CIF are investigating the incident. The San Diego branch of the NAACP is demanding that Coronado either be forced to share the CIF title with Orange Glen or be stripped of the championship altogether,, and that the two players who threw tortillas be banned from the Coronado basketball team.

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