A video allegedly made and posted to social media by a Cañada baseball player last week has led to the creation of an online petition calling for the removal of the player as well as Cañada baseball manager Tony Lucca.
A petition filed on Change.org calls for the expulsion of the player accused of creating the video while also accusing Lucca of racism, homophobia, bullying and intimidation. The petition includes anonymous testimonials from four supposed former players who back the accusations against Lucca.
“I can’t say a whole lot. [I’m] just being accused of some things that are pretty bad,” said Lucca, who has union representation. “[I’ll] let the investigation do what it does and go from there.”
The petition also says that multiple reports that have been filed by students were “dismissed and ignored” by the Cañada administration.
In response to the petition, many of Lucca’s former players and their families are sending letters of support to the Cañada administration, which acknowledged it was aware of the petition.
“The college takes seriously and investigates allegations of inappropriate behavior. While the college does not discuss personnel matters, we are aware of the allegations … and the college will follow its processes to evaluate these concerns,” said an email from Megan Rodriquez Antone, Cañada College director of community relations.
“First I heard of [the petition] was last Tuesday and that was regarding the … video … which I don’t condone,” Lucca said.
Lucca did not say what the video entailed but a statement on the Cañada College website said the video “Depicts — in a callous, mocking way — the brutal murder of George Floyd. The video was not filmed on the college’s campus, but it has a painful impact on our college community. It is revolting and does not reflect the values of our students, staff or faculty.
“The behavior demonstrated in the video will not be tolerated.”
Rodriguez Antone said she was not allowed to comment on the player’s status at the school.
“The college does not confirm or discuss details of any employee or student investigations are any disciplinary actions,” she said in an email.
Lucca, a 1993 graduate of South San Francisco High, was initially drafted in the 45th round of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins as an infielder. He decided, instead, to play in college, redshirting his freshman season at San Jose City College before transferring to Cañada, where he played under longtime manager Mike Garcia. Lucca eventually transferred to Oklahoma State and earned second team All-Big 12 honors before being drafted by the then-Florida Marlins in 1998, playing three seasons in the Marlins’ minor-league system. He earned Most Valuable Player honors with the Utica Blue Sox in 1998.
In three minor league seasons, he batted .267 with 181 hits, 41 doubles, 12 home runs and three triples, splitting time between first base and the outfield.
He returned to Cañada in 2001 to serve as an assistant coach under Garcia before taking over the program prior to the 2002 season.
In 19 seasons managing the Colts, Lucca has compiled a winning record in both conference play and overall. In Coast Conference/Pacific Coast play, Lucca has a record of 222-198, with an overall mark of 358-350. The Colts were 12-9 and just 1-4 in conference play this season before it was canceled because of the coronavirus.