Coronado High School Basketball coach lost his job over the tortilla throwing incident that was considered racist by some people. 

Following the weekend incident, the Coronado Unified School Board voted unanimously to fire their head basketball coach on Tuesday night, reported The San Diego Union-Tribune.

During session the board discussed, but did not take action related to student discipline. After a championship game between Coronado High and Orange Glen High, a predominantly Latino school in Escondido, at least two people threw tortillas at the Orange Glen team.

Witnesses said that Coronado head basketball coach JD Laaperi allegedly cursed at an Orange Glen coach after the game, saying “That’s why you don’t talk (expletive). Get your kids and get the (expletive) out of here.” That’s when at least two Coronado players threw tortillas toward the Orange Glen team, according to video footage shared on social media. 

Coronado Unified School District, Escondido Union High School District, Coronado police and the California Interscholastic Federation are investigating the incident.

During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon in front of Coronado High, several community members called for the firing of Laaperi, whom they accused for starting the chaos after the game.

Laaperi tweeted on Sunday that it was a community member who “unfortunately” brought tortillas to the game, which Laaperi said was “unacceptable and racist in nature.”


Superintendent Karl Mueller shared a press release on Sunday apologizing and calling the incident reprehensible. Many at the press conference said an apology from Coronado is not sufficient. They also demanded diversity training, ethnic studies and other racial equity initiatives for Coronado High. But some Coronado community members said the tortilla throwing was not meant to be racist. 

Wayne McKinney, captain of the Coronado basketball team, said that Coronado coaches and players have received hate messages and death threats. He said at the board meeting that some facts about the incident were being misrepresented. He added that his teammates did not know that someone had brought tortillas to the game, and that person was not part of the team.

“It was not based on race or class; it was simply a great game between two teams,” McKinney said. “I think many people are making Saturday out to be something it was not.” Still, he called the throwing of tortillas unsportsmanlike and inexcusable and he apologized to Orange Glen.

FOX 5 had earlier received a letter saying, “The Trustees of the Coronado Unified School District acknowledge these acts to be egregious, demeaning, and disrespectful. We fully condemn the racism, classism, and colorism which fueled the actions of the perpetrators."

Basketball A detailed view of basketballs are seen prior to Yeshiva playing against Worcester Polytechnic Institute during the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Getty Images | Patrick Smith