Aliso Niguel vs Santa Ana: the aftermath


Joanna Mejia

Football game between Godinez and Segerstrom on August 31.

Every sport has a few memorable moments that go down in history. While some of these moments are honorable, there are also a few that disgrace the sport as a whole. In recent news, the Santa Ana High School vs. Aliso Niguel High School football game made headlines when Aliso Niguel students who attended the game were accused of racially intimidating the Santa Ana football team and their fans.

The game took place on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, just four days before the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. It is said that the students from Aliso Niguel showed patriotic pride at the football game in order to commemorate the attacks of Sept. 11. However, many believe that it went too far.

Senior Peter Mendez, from Santa Ana High School said, “As the students and athletes were walking in, there were one or two racist gestures and posters in the stands.” Mendez also claims that during the game, when a touchdown was scored from the opposing team, the Aliso Niguel students would chant ‘USA!’ very boldly towards the football players. He said that it was really hard to not take offense to it all, when their actions did feel racially motivated.

But this isn’t the first time something like this has happened at a high school football game. For example, USA Today High School Sports has a section dedicated to events like these under the label “racism.”

Aliso Niguel received backlash from the incident, with the problem being addressed by the parents and staff of Santa Ana High. Oscar Santos, a Santa Ana student who attended the game said, “The incident was addressed by Santa Ana High School principal Jeff Bishop, and many parents and teachers were doing what they could to make sure that Aliso Niguel high school knew that their way of showing pride was completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”

Football teams across Santa Ana had something to say about the Aliso Niguel incident. Senior Jakob Albinio, and star of the Segerstrom football team, said, “The Aliso Niguel [incident] was totally uncalled for. Like I get you want to support your team and cheer but you shouldn’t be discriminating the other team.” When asked if he has felt sort of discrimination similar to the incident, he said, “I haven’t really felt discriminated but it’s tough to play knowing that the whole side is 100% against you, and it makes you kind of fearful because you don’t know what they are going to do next.”

This reporter attended a local football game that took place at Valley High School between Godinez and Santa Barbara High School to analyze and observe any suspicious or provocative behavior displayed among the students in the stands. Everything seemed to be running smoothly and there was nothing alarming going on throughout the game. Students were chanting, parents came out to support, and the players fought until the end to take the victory home.

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Despite how unfortunate the incident was, it had a positive outcome, bringing students across Santa Ana together. Santos recalls that the day of the incident, one could tell that the crowd was disturbed and bothered by Aliso Niguel behavior. However, in the days to follow they did not allow for this incident to deter the school’s spirit. Santa Ana High prevailed and kept their heads held high, not allowing this event to get the best of them.