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‘Chain him up’: Racist rant hurled at only Black player on high school basketball team

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 12:23 PM CST
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LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) - A California couple is calling for action after racial slurs were hurled at their son during a high school basketball game.

Cell phone video from a basketball game at Laguna Hills High Friday captured a fan making racist comments about the only Black player from the opposing team as he made free throws. The fan can be heard shouting, “Where is his slave owner?” and “Chain him up.”

Terrell and Sabrina Brown, the parents of basketball player Makai Brown, said their son discovered the hurtful comments while reviewing game footage, as he does every Saturday.

“He understands that unfortunately there are ignorant people in this world. And that ignorance is perpetuated,” Sabrina Brown said.

The Browns said they immediately reached out to the school district leaders and their local representatives. Saddleback Valley Unified District has since issued a statement condemning the language, and said they identified the person making the racist comments as a Laguna Hills High student. The district said the student is being disciplined and counseled.

“I actually feel sorry for the kid and his parents because I fully expect they will punish and reprimand him, but I don’t know if that’s going to change the culture that we have experienced at Laguna Hills High School,” Terrell Brown said.

Makai Brown’s parents also voiced concerns during the game about the opposing coach’s demeanor toward their son, and Terrell Brown ended up ejected from the game. The high school has not yet addressed those concerns.

The Browns said their son is pessimistic anything would change after coming forward about how he was treated that night, but they’ve all been reassured by an outpouring of support.

“The overwhelming support that we’ve received has been so appreciated. It helps validate that, hey, we can band together and make a change,” Terrell Brown said.

The town’s mayor issued a statement on Facebook Tuesday that said he will be sending out a letter calling for more action.

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