'Racist' chant mars of 'Where's your passport?' mars California hoops game

The end of a basketball game in California turned ugly this week as the visiting student section took to chanting “Where’s your passport?”

St. Joseph faced Righetti and earned a 74-57 road win Tuesday. That wasn’t the news, however, as the Righetti High student section began the chant apparently directed at the St. Joseph athletes. St. Joseph has one player from France on its roster and three players from Puerto Rico.

Per the Santa Maria Times:

St. Joseph principal Erinn Dougherty confronted the Righetti students after hearing the chant and then exchanged words with Righetti High assistant principal Ted Lyon, who was standing near the Righetti bench.

“Kids are going to do whatever they’re going to do and our guys enjoy playing in great atmospheres like this,” said coach Tom Mott, who’s also St. Joseph’s athletic director, when asked about the chant. “Anything our crowd or their crowd does is just part of the game.”

Mott said he did not feel accusations were racist but understood how people would feel that way.

“I honestly think they were unaware they said a racist thing,” Mott said. “They did not intend for it to be racist.

“… It’s just sad that kids who are 15-, 16- or 17-years-old are called out for what they look like or where they’re from,” Mott said.

Mott told the Santa Maria Times he did believe Righetti coach Kevin Barbarick tried to get the chant stopped.

“I talked to Kevin this morning and, after watching the video, I saw as soon as they started the chant that Kevin turned around and told them to be quiet and that’s exactly what you want your administrator to do,” Mott said.

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