Protest calls for Phoenix softball coach's return

, Written by Matt Jordan, Posted: Thu, June 12 2014 at 6:16 PM, Updated: Thu, June 12 2014 at 10:48 PM

Phoenix, Ore. –- Phoenix High School athletes and their parents took to the streets Thursday in support of a coach.

They say Coach Jason Zanni was fired Monday for allegedly making an inappropriate comment toward a player.

Wearing red shirts with the words "we support coach Jason" on the front, the Phoenix High School varsity softball team protested what they call the unjust firing of their coach.

Varsity softball coach Jason Zanni was let go by the Phoenix-Talent School District on Monday after students say he made a joke about the Mexican heritage of one of his players.

The players say it was all in good fun and they gathered with dozens of others in front of the Phoenix-talent School District office to voice their support for their coach.

“What we would really like is for our coach to come back, for them to rehire our coach because we don't see a point to him getting fired but if that's not possible we would just like his name cleared for what had happened," said Adriana Mereida-Ford.

Zanni made the comments at an end-of-year team banquet. It's unclear whether those comments are the reason for his dismissal.

The school district says it cannot comment on personnel matters, but they told NBC5 that every coach is on a year to year contract.

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About the Author

Matt Jordan

NBC5 News reporter and weather forecaster Matt Jordan is a native Oregonian, born in Junction City.

He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Before joining NBC5 News, Matt spent a year in Alexandria, Louisiana as a reporter and anchor for KALB News. Matt was also a production assistant at KEZI 9 News in Eugene and an intern at CNN.

In addition to being passionate about news, Matt loves his Ducks and the outdoors. He also plays guitar and is a huge Jimi Hendrix fan.

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