“He was looking at the canoe and they were scratching and acting like a monkey and making monkey noises,” Quannel X said on Friday.
BELLAIRE, Texas — Community activists are demanding that Bellaire High School baseball coach Nick Ozuna to be fired over allegations of racist taunting by his players.
Editor’s note: The above video originally aired on March 30, 2022.
Ozuna’s lawyer said he was placed on leave, but activists want him out.
“We are upset, we are appalled and we are very upset,” said Dr Candice Matthews, with the Rainbow Push Coalitionsaid Friday at a press conference.
“As he was throwing he could hear some of the Bellaire players making monkey noises,” Quannel X said. “He was looking at the dugout and they were scratching and acting like a monkey and making monkey noises. was right in front of high school coach Bellaire.”
RELATED: HISD Investigating Racist Taunts and Gestures Allegedly Used by Bellaire Baseball Team
The activist said a minority player on Bellaire’s team told his teammates to stop, but they ignored him and coach Ozuna said nothing.
When a referee told the players to cut it, Quannel said Ozuna yelled at him.
“You don’t talk to my players, I talk to my players. You talk to me,” the coach shouted at the referee, according to Quannel.
He said that when the players chanted “I’ve got bananas, I’ve got bananas, I’ve got bananas”, and things got heated between the parents of the two teams, the referee ended the match. match.
The Westbury pitcher’s father was “enraged,” according to Quannel, and confronted Bellaire’s coaching staff in the parking lot. HISD officers intervened before things got out of hand.
A player has been suspended for one game, according to Quannel, but he believes the coach should leave.
“When it comes to teaching young men how to be morally respectable to others, respectable to coaches, don’t be biased towards racing. The man is bankrupt, in my opinion. He can’t teach that,” Quannel said. “And that’s more important than teaching a kid to swing in baseball.”
HISD confirmed it was investigating the incident.
Some Westbury players are considering legal action.
“All options are on the table. The family is very disappointed, they are distraught,” attorney Kevin Murray said.
Booster club Bellaire had scheduled their own press conference on Friday to defend the coach but it was postponed.
But Stephen Karpas defended Ozuna, who coached his son for several years. Karpas believes the allegations were taken out of context.
“I am fully aware of his character, how he treats every child,” Karpas said. “We never saw anything but fair and balanced treatment from Coach Ozuna.”
Ozuna’s attorney, Levi J. Benton, released the following statement earlier this week.
“We look forward to HISD completing its investigation and reinstating Coach Ozuna as soon as possible. any allegation that he tolerated any racial slurs is false Any allegation that Coach Ozuna harbors racial animosity is false We have no further statements at this time.