Gadsden (N.M.) High School is in a district where 97 percent of the students are Hispanic, so members of the Panthers baseball team are used to speaking to each other in Spanish. But in a game on Tuesday, they were told to cut it out by an umpire who threatened to eject anyone who spoke anything but English on the diamond.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that first-base umpire Corey Jones admonished Gadsden's 1B to stop speaking Spanish, and when a Gadsden coach came out to complain, he was allegedly told, “anyone who speaks Spanish—coaches or players—will be ejected.”
[Assistant coach Emmanuel] Burciaga said he told Jones, “Our players will not stop speaking Spanish, and they will not be ejected.”
He said Jones then “came walking toward me and said, ‘Another word from you, Coach, and you will be ejected.’ ”
Jones's reasoning was that if the players spoke Spanish, he wouldn't be able to tell if they were swearing at or insulting their opponents. The situation was defused by a bilingual home plate ump, who assured Jones that he'd know if anyone was cursing.
Gadsden coaches plan to file a formal complaint with the New Mexico Activities Association, which will decide upon any potential discipline.