A basketball official who reportedly made racist statements prior to the tipoff of a game between high school freshmen was quickly fired by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, the official, who was not named by an AIA spokesperson in announcing the firing, asked the coach of visiting Pueblo High School’s team whether his players had their green cards prior to tipoff against Walden Grove High School.
Pueblo is located in a largely Hispanic part of Tucson, and has a student population that is 89 percent Hispanic.
Tucson Unified School District’s director of interscholastics Herman House reported the comment on Wednesday. The unnamed official was fired soon after, and cited by the AIA as a violation of its officials’ code of ethics. The code calls for officials to “Constantly uphold the honor and dignity of the avocation in all personal conduct and relations with the student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, school administrators, colleagues, and the public and to be a worthy example to the athletes under one’s jurisdiction,” and to “carry a responsibility to act in a manner becoming to a professional person.”
A parent who witnessed the event told the Star that “most of the boys had never witnessed or been involved in this type of racism.”
The official reportedly told the AIA that his comment was an attempt at humor.