Sanger High kids, parents face racist insults during soccer game in Northern California city

"Some of them were calling our kids 'Edgar' and 'Juan', and 'Do you need a burrito?'"

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Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Sanger High kids face racist insults during soccer game in NorCal city
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The Sanger High School soccer team was left shocked after parents say they and their children were the target of racial insults in Concord on Tuesday.

SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Valley soccer team was left speechless after parents say they were the target of racial insults from the opposing side.

The Sanger High School soccer team traveled 3 hours north to De La Salle High School in the Bay Area city of Concord on Tuesday, ready to play their hearts out in the state quarterfinals.

Then parents were shocked to hear alleged racist remarks against them and their children.

Fans for both teams were sharing one bleacher, and moments before the game, Sanger parent Chris Martin was approached by someone working the press box, repping the opposing team.

He says the conversation left him uneasy.

"The sense I kept getting from him is that he kept referring to the color of the tan, like, 'Oh it must be very hot out there, everyone I am seeing has a tan'," Martin recounts.

Once the game kicked off, the intensity was felt on the field and the bleachers.

"Some of them were calling our kids 'Edgar' and 'Juan', and 'Do you need a burrito?'" Martin says.

Ultimately, Sanger lost 3-4, and as everyone prepared to leave, the man who initially approached Martin and multiple parents came back, and they say, shouted racially charged comments.

"He just yells out: 'This is America. You guys need to learn English' towards one of the fathers that are Latino, have dark skins and his son, one of the heroes on our team," says Martin.

The Sanger community was speechless.

The Sanger Unified School District released a statement saying they are a vibrant and diverse school district that values each and every student and has zero tolerance towards any action that degrades, dishonors or belittles their vast diversity.

De La Salle High School president David Holquin said remarks like that would be reprehensible and unacceptable.

"We have spoken with CIF and the Sanger High principal and with individuals here as we continue to investigate," said Holquin.

On Tuesday, the school released a statement regarding the alleged incident:

"De La Salle High School is aware of the comments allegedly made at the De La Salle versus Sanger High School soccer match on Tuesday, March 1st. The alleged comments are entirely inappropriate and do not keep with our school standards, expectations, and our mission as a Lasallian Catholic school. We take these allegations seriously. Once aware, we immediately launched an investigation into the matter. We have been in contact with the Sanger High School administration, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), and many of the attendees at the soccer match. After nearly two dozen interviews thus far, we are unable to corroborate these allegations but will continue to investigate this matter. If any individual affiliated with De La Salle High School made such comments they will be held accountable. We neither condone nor tolerate such unacceptable behavior. De La Salle High School remains committed to being an inclusive place of belonging and to authentically living out our Core Principles including respect for all persons and being an inclusive community. We have done much work in this regard and will continue to do so."

Martin and other parents say their drive home Tuesday evening felt even longer as they reflected on the hurtful words and experience.

Action News reached out to the California Interscholastic Federation Office and has not heard back.

This is an ongoing investigation.