ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — Esperanza High School officials are investigating allegations that fans hurled racial slurs at a Foothill basketball player during a Crestview League game Friday night.
CBS2’s Stacy Butler spoke to the player, guard Reed Nakakihara, who knows he stands out on the court, and not just because he averages about 16 points a game for the Santa Ana high school.
“I’m usually the guy that’s different on the team, that’s the shortestm that’s the only Asian,” Nakakihara said.
And more and more Nakakihara said he is paying a price. Rival fans are chanting racial slurs at him from the stands, including most recently from the student section at Friday night’s game.
“‘Jackie Chan,’ and ‘shrimp fried rice,’ or ‘chicken fried rice,’ something like that,” Nakakihara said. “I’d love to see the fans be able to chant things whatever they want, but they should refrain from when they get personal about race, maybe back off about that.”
Esperanza High School principal Ken Fox was not as accommodating.
In a statement, Fox said: “When I became aware of this issue I contacted the Foothill Principal, Dr. Stephany, to express my deepest apologies for this incident. These actions are not reflective of the values or standards of Esperanza High School.”
Nakakihara was unaware that the school is investigating the allegation.
“I appreciate that a lot,” he said.
But he is taking it in stride, noting that the Knights won Friday’s game 61-57.
“We were actually down 16 points and we came back and won by four,” he said. “So I think we had the last laugh that night.”
Butler reported that Esperanza is expected to decide what to do about the incident on Tuesday.