U.S.

Basketball Referee Fired After Allegedly Asking High School Coach If Players Had Their Green Cards

A high school basketball referee in Arizona has been fired after he allegedly asked a coach if his players had their green cards.

The question came on Tuesday night before Walden Grove High School played Pueblo High School in a freshman team game, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The referee, who has not been named, allegedly made the comment to Pueblo High's coach as the coaches and administration for both schools met on the court just prior to tipoff in Sahuarita, Arizona.

The comment was reported to the Arizona Interscholastic Association on Wednesday by Tuscon Unified School District director of interscholastics Herman House after an Instagram post from a Pubelo High player's mother went viral.

"Great job Pueblo Freshman and Jv basketball despite a racist ref who felt it appropriate to ask our coaches if our players had their green cards," Patricia Coleman wrote. "Sorry but gotta make you insta and Twitter famous. Thank god [sic] our boys showed you what class looked like."

Coleman told the Star that "most of the boys had never witnessed or been involved in this type of racism. Breaks my heart that they had to be a part of this ugliness."

The referee reportedly told the AIA that the comment was an attempt at humor. However, the statement violates the ethics code of the AIA, the organization which oversees high school athletics in Arizona. 

According to the Star, the ethics code states that referees and other officials, such as scorekeepers, must:

• Constantly uphold the honor and dignity of the avocation in all personal conduct and relations with the student athletes, coaches, athletic directors, school administrators, colleagues, and the public and to be a worthy example to the athletes under one's jurisdiction.

• Carry a responsibility to act in a manner becoming to a professional person. The conduct of any official influences the attitudes of the public toward the profession in general as well as toward the official in particular.

According to US News & World Report, Pueblo High School's student population is 89 percent Hispanic.

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