Westbury parents, activists call for Bellaire baseball coach termination after racial allegations

BELLAIRE, Texas (KTRK) -- Some Westbury parents and activists across the community call for the termination of a long-time Houston ISD high school baseball coach, following allegations of racist taunts made by Bellaire players at a Westbury baseball game last week.

Bellaire baseball coach Nick Ozuna is under investigation after last Friday's game, when players were accused of making racial taunts toward Westbury high school players.

SEE ORIGINAL REPORT: Bellaire HS baseball coach on leave as video shows tempers flaring over controversial game

An HISD spokesperson confirmed that Bellaire baseball coach Nick Ozuna was re-assigned and not put on paid administrative leave on Friday afternoon. HISD representatives also tell ABC13 Bellaire assistant coach, Robert Manuel, was also reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.

The HISD spokesperson says they'll report to another HISD location for work each day. They do not report to Bellaire High School and are not coaching the baseball team.

"He's so enraged that the baseball coach from Bellaire high school would not stop this. Not do anything, and not even apologize to the Westbury baseball team and coaching staff is what upset these African American parents," said Quanell X with the New Black Panther organization.

https://twitter.com/ABC13Daniela/status/1509911681928945667

Quanell X says the parents wanted the coach to suspend the player accused of making the sounds immediately. They hoped Coach Nick Ozuna would send a clear message to other players.

"The family are very disappointed. They're distraught," said the attorney representing several Westbury families, Kevin Murray.

"It is the district's responsibility to do their part to ensure that this type of behavior, this type of insensitivity that's happening, does not happen again," said Dr. Matthews with the Rainbow Push Coalition.

While some call for Coach Ozuna's termination, others stand by him.

"I think once he gets a chance to speak and put out his side of the story, I think we'll all see that it's undeserved," said a Bellaire community member who says Ozuna has coached his child, Steven Karpas. "He's been with Bellaire High School, as a coach, for 18 plus years and has never displayed this kind of behavior."

We reached out to Ozuna's attorney on Friday. They said they would not comment past what they told ABC13 on Thursday, which includes in part:
"Any allegation that he condoned or dismissed any racial slur is false. Any allegation that Coach Ozuna has any racial animus is false."



The Bellaire baseball team booster president said he would not comment on the false allegations out of respect for the process and said they expect this matter to be thoroughly investigated and resolved.

For updates on this story, follow Daniela Hurtado on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

WATCH ORIGINAL REPORT: Bellaire HS baseball coach on leave as video shows tempers flaring over controversial game
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The long-time head baseball coach for Bellaire High School is on paid leave following allegations of racist taunts by some of his players.

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