A high school basketball referee in Arizona was fired for allegedly asking if players had their green cards with them.

The referee’s comment came just before tipoff of a freshman basketball game in Sahuarita, Arizona, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

The official reportedly asked the visiting Pueblo High School coach if all of his players had their green cards.


Pueblo High School is in a largely hispanic part of Tucson, according to the news outlet.

A mother of one of the Pueblo players posted a Facebook message highlighting an Instagram post about the incident that gained attention.

"Breaks my heart that they had to be a part of this ugliness," Patricia Coleman, the woman who posted on Facebook, told the Star. 

Brian Grassner, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) commissioner of officials, said the referee made an “insensitive comment.”

The AIA declined to identify the referee in question to multiple news outlets.

The referee was fired for violating the AIA officials' code of ethics.