A private Catholic high school football team in San Diego has been sanctioned after players posted racist photos aimed at rival Lincoln High School, a mostly Latino public high school.
The San Diego Conference placed Cathedral Catholic High’s football coach on a two-game suspension. The team was placed on probation for two years and requires the team to implement a cultural sensitivity education program.
The suspension and probation came after a player from Cathedral posted to social media on the day Cathedral was supposed to play Lincoln a picture of someone wearing a red t-shirt that read “Catholics v. Convicts” with the caption “We run the City.”
Another photo showed Cathedral Catholic players making a gang sign with their hands.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the controversy made national headlines because the t-shirt slogan echoed a slogan from the 1980s when Notre Dame students coined it for t-shirt amid a rivalry with University of Miami.
Five days after the game took place, Cathedral Catholic would issue an apology for the posts but the conference had already undertaken an investigation into the matter.
Lincoln principal Stephanie Brown sent a letter to school families Wednesday night explaining the sanctions to parents.
In the letter Brown said the conference supports the “self-suspension” of student-athletes who were directly responsible for the posts.
For its part, Cathedral Catholic said it accepts the suspensions and had multiple internal conversations about the incident, as well as communication with San Diego City Conference, Lincoln High and the California Interscholastic Federation.
“Our students and our school community have learned a lot from this experience, and we look forward to repairing our relationship with the Lincoln High School community,” said principal Kevin Calkins in a statement.
The Union-Tribune reports that Cathedral Catholic must implement a restorative education program for its athletic program and submit reports to the San Diego City Conference every semester. If it violates its two-year probation, it could be kicked out of the conference, the parent letter said.