An Arizona high school basketball referee was fired for making "an inappropriate comment" to coaches from a school with a majority Latino student body, the Arizona Daily Star reports.
The official, who was not named, asked coaches from Pueblo High School whether their players – all boys – had green cards before their game against Walden Grove High School. Pueblo High is located in a largely Hispanic part of Tucson.
"We reacted quickly," Brian Gessner of the Arizona Interscholastic Association told NBC News. "We did our due diligence. We talked to parents, talked to administrators, and talked to officials."
The official "admitted to making an inappropriate comment," Gessner said. "He was dismissed as an official," and no longer has referee assignments.
"We obviously hold our officiating community to a higher standard and we don't tolerate that type of behavior," he said.
Patricia Coleman, a mother of one of the Pueblo High School players, posted a Facebook message about the incident.
"Most of the boys had never witnessed or been involved in this type of racism," Coleman said. "Breaks my heart that they had to be a part of this ugliness."