SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – An Orange County high school football game was marred by allegations of racism Monday.
At issue were posters allegedly seen at the Friday night game at Aliso Niguel High School against Santa Ana High, where Santa Ana principal Jeff Bishop claimed he saw posters that said “We love White” and “Build the Wall”.
Bishop told the Orange County Register while he did not clearly see the wording on the signs, he claimed he saw them “way up” in the bleachers. Students who were chanting “USA, USA” at the game were asked to stop.
“Again, a small number of kids…when they said, ‘It’s not a great day to be a Mexican now, is it?’, when I heard that, oh hell no,” Bishop told CBS2’s Michele Gile.
A Santa Ana Unified school district official said: “The signs read ‘Make America Great”, “Make America White”, “Build That Wall”…to name just a few.”
In a statement, Aliso Niguel principal Deni Christensen told CBSLA that Bishop came to Aliso Niguel’s sideline after the first quarter.
“He reported that his students and fans had seen the sign referencing President Trump before the game, and a sign that said “We love red, we love white, we love blue,” along with our students arriving dressed in red, white and blue, and he felt that the entire atmosphere was inhospitable to his school and community,” Christensen said.
Bishop recounted his comments to the Register: “I told her ‘You’re playing Americans. You’re playing ‘Dreamers,’ I don’t understand the USA pride thing when you score. And if I hear it one more time, I am walking off the field with the team.’ ”
The Aliso Niguel Wolverines posted a flyer on Instagram for Friday’s game asking fans to wear “Red, White, And Blue” in honor of the game.
According to Christensen, neither she nor other Aliso Niguel administrators saw a “Build the Wall” sign. School officials removed two politically charged signs from the event: one that said “Bring back Obama” and another that said “We’re going to Trump you”.
In a post Saturday on Facebook, Bishop referenced only the “We Love White” poster without acknowledging the other two posters.
Roughly 99 percent of students enrolled at Santa Ana HS are Latino, compared with Aliso Niguel, where about 56 percent of students are white and 19 percent are Latino, according to the Los Angeles Times.