February 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of the Santa Maria Times

(LOS ANGELES, CA – 2/13/2020) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today decried the racist chants fans yelled during a high school basketball game between St. Joseph and Righetti high schools in Santa Maria.

According to the New York Post, supporters from visiting Righetti High, which lost 74-57, began chanting, “Where’s your passport?” towards the end of the game, held on Feb. 11.

Three players on St. Joseph’s team are from Puerto Rico — a U.S. territory — and one is from France.

READ: California high school basketball game ends in ‘racist’ chant: ‘Where’s your passport?’


According to the Santa Maria Times, the chanting also occurred last month when the teams played at Righetti.

In a statement, the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District said there were “unacceptable comments” from both student sections and the incident is being addressed by officials from the district and Righetti.

READ: ‘Where’s your passport?’ chant not racially motivated, St. Joseph administrators say


In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

“These incidents are not coincidental. As anti-immigrant hate has increased exponentially over the past few years, we have warned against the danger of how normalizing hate speech leads into hate threats and hate attacks.

“This hate has filtered down to the scholastic level and that is completely unacceptable, whether it is the president tweeting that four members of Congress should ‘go back’ where they came from or high school students yelling ‘Where’s your passport?’

“We call on the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District to repudiate these incidents of bigotry and to address the issue of intolerance with the student body.”

Ayloush urged community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-LA’s Civil Rights Department at 714-776-1177 or by filing a report at: https://bit.ly/2L9Ezsw.

CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.


CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-851-4851 or efields@cair.com