Video catches California high school student’s racist remarks about opposing player during basketball game



Racist remarks made by a Laguna Hills High School student toward a Black player on the Portola boys basketball team circulated on social media in recent days.

The remarks were made during the Laguna Hills and Portola varsity game Friday night at Laguna Hills High School. They were captured on a video shot by the Portola basketball program, which had a camera placed in the stands near a group of Laguna Hills fans.

The comments were made about Portola senior guard Makai Brown, who is Black, as he shot free throws and at other points in the game.

The comments directed toward Brown were heard clearly on portions of the video viewed by the Register. They included a series of racial epithets, including references to chains, slavery and an animal.

The Saddleback Valley Unified School District notified the district community about the incident Tuesday night, saying that a student who made the comments had received “immediate, and appropriate consequences” and that “discipline have taken place.”

The district statement said that “a thorough fact-finding process” had shown that the “unacceptable comments” were made by one student.

Brown’s mother, Sabrina Little-Brown, shared the video and discussed it on her Instagram account. 

She described how her son found out about the remarks.

“On Saturday morning before practice my son was watching game film as he always does. He came into my room STUNNED,” she wrote. “What he heard directed 100% to him is contained in this video, but these disgusting, racist insults continued throughout the entire game footage. Needless to say, our family is up in arms.”

Little-Brown added that her son “was subjected to verbal abuse & aggressive behavior by the Laguna Hills Head Coach, David Yates” and that her husband confronted Yates about it during the game. Little-Brown’s post stated that incident led to “the (Laguna Hills) assistant coach” telling her husband to ” ‘meet him outside in the parking lot after the game’ and of course my husband responded. His verbal response resulted in him (her husband) being escorted out of the game.”

Yates said Little-Brown’s version of events concerning him are inaccurate.

“There is much more regarding the entire incident that I am not permitted to share,” Yates said.

As for the racist comments on the video, Yates said, “Of course they’re disgusting. They don’t represent the school, the district or our basketball program.”

The Laguna Hills varsity boys basketball game against Woodbridge scheduled for Tuesday night was postponed, Laguna Hills athletic director Scott Wilford said.

“This does not represent our community,” Wilford said of the video. “What was said is reprehensible.”

Laguna Hills, Portola and Woodbridge play in the Pacific Coast League. First-place Portola defeated fourth-place Laguna Hills 58-48 on Friday.

The video was played Tuesday night at the Irvine Council meeting by council member Anthony Kuo. Brown was in the audience for the meeting.





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