Laguna Hills

Racist Slurs Directed at High School Basketball Player in Orange County

"It was constant, throughout the whole entire game," the student targeted by the racist remarks said.

NBC Universal, Inc.

One family in Orange County is outraged over what happened to their son during a basketball game, when another student repeatedly hurled racist slurs at the high school basketball player.

The incident was captured on camera, during last Friday's varsity game between Laguna Hills High School and Portola High School.

At least one student was in the stands yelling at Makai Brown -- a player for Portola, who is Black -- was shooting free throws.

The student can be heard on video making racist remarks, with references to animals, slavery, chains and cages.

"It was constant, throughout the whole entire game," Makai said. "Every time that I touched the ball, every time something happened with me around, you could hear them saying some sort of remark towards me."

Makai's family shared the video on Instagram, where it has already been viewed over 50,000 times. They say the footage only captures part of the incident.

Sabrina Brown, Makai's mother, believes the problem goes deeper than just one student.

"Everything needs a revamp," she said. "Because it's a culture. This is not a one-time incident, this is not a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence."

Brown spoke about the incident at Tuesday night's Irvine City Council meeting. The council says they stand behind Makai and his family, condemning the racist remarks made from the stands. Officials with City Council also say they will reach out to Laguna Hills to see what exactly can be done.

NBC4 also reached out to both school districts for comment.

In a message to the district community, Saddleback Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Crystal Turner said the student who made the comments has been counseled and “immediate, appropriate consequences and discipline have taken place.” Students who were nearby were advised that they should report such language to school administrators. 

“Although apologies are necessary, they do not suffice,” Turner said. “The words used by this student will never be acceptable. This is a learning opportunity for our school communities that there is ongoing work to be done in building continued mutual respect and understanding. Administrators from LHHS and PHS will continue working together to use the incident to teach, learn and heal.”

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