This is a very concerning piece from the Orange County Register over racial slurs during a Servite boys basketball game against rival Mater Dei.
Video of Servite Taunts, which are very similar to the type of chants that happen in European soccer matches directed at African-American players. The Register reports that late in the video Servite fans can be heard making monkey sounds when Mater Dei guard Gary Franklin has the ball.
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The school works on improving the situation after racial taunts, but others say the problems aren’t new.
By STEVE FRYER
The Orange County Register
Servite’s campus was “turned upside down” after racial taunts students directed at Mater Dei players, but the revelations prompted a former athlete and an ex-Servite strength coach to share their experiences with intolerance involving the school.
ESPN broadcaster Doug Gottlieb, a former Orange County player of the year for Tustin High, said Friday what he heard on an ocvarsity.com video from the Jan. 9 varsity boys basketball game was “indefensible and reprehensible.”
“But I’d seen it before,” said Gottlieb, who said Servite’s “Pit Crew” hurled anti-Semitic remarks at him in the ’90s.
Lou Smith, a former Servite strength and conditioning football coach, said racial tensions existed at the school and in its football program when he was there less than two years ago. He said he was fired for informing the Servite administration of the situation.
Dr. Ted Lawton, a Servite alumnus and past president of the school’s alumni association, said “the campus has rightfully been turned upside down” as Servite deals with the aftermath of racial comments and noises directed at black Mater Dei players.
Servite president Peter Bowen said the school will more closely supervise the “Pit Crew” cheering section and is providing specific directions on what sort of cheering is unacceptable.
“We take full responsibility for our mistakes,” he said. “We see this as an opportunity to get at deeper issues that lie within our school and exist at any school.”
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