In a stir of controversy, a New Mexico umpire who allegedly threatened to eject high school baseball players for speaking Spanish has resigned.
Umpire Corey Jones is accused of telling a first baseman not to speak Spanish during a game, and, when questioned by the school’s assistant coach, Jones allegedly stated, “Anyone who speaks Spanish — coaches or players — will be ejected.”
The game between Alamogordo High School and Gadsden High School took place in Alamogordo with a local umpire crew. The Gadsden school district is right on the U.S.-Mexico border and has a 97 percent Latino student population.
With Latinos and immigration reform in the headlines, the events at the New Mexico baseball game quickly rose to national attention.
The Associated Press reports the controversy is similar to several others reported across the nation in recent years:
In December, two referees officiating a youth soccer match in Cooper City, Fla., ejected one team’s coach for giving instructions to Hispanic players in Spanish. In 2005, an umpire in Massachusetts was temporarily barred from officiating after he ordered a Little League team playing in a tournament to stop speaking Spanish.
New Mexico is an officially bilingual state, as recognized in its constitution.