Tee Ball coach protests accusations of cursing at players in Spanish

MGN
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 10:21am

Groves (KBMT) -- Javier Najera is the head coach of the Shetland Dodgers Tee Ball team in the Jefferson County Pony League. He and nearly half of his team walked away from their last game of the season Thursday night. It was in protest of accusations by several parents that Najera frequently yells Spanish curse words at his 6-year-old players.
Najera claims those accusing him don't speak Spanish, and have no idea what he says to his players, a majority of which are Hispanic.
"The accusations are completely false," Najera told 12News in an exclusive interview.
Najera offered an explanation as to why the parents are making the accusations.
"There's a few people who got angry because I stated that one of their sons wasn't quite ready to make the All-Star team," he said.
A disciplinary hearing was held Monday, and the league board decided that Najera had violated the coach's code of conduct. The board ruled he could no longer coach the upcoming All-Star game on June 15th, a spot he had earned by coaching the team with the best record during the regular season.

"We had three other board members witness his actions on the field," said Gene Venable, Vice President of league's board and chairman of the disciplinary committee.
Najera was outraged by the ruling, believing he was the victim of racial discrimination by a board of all white members.

"Race has not anything to do with it," said Venable. "If anything we like to make sure that all people are represented."
Najera gathered 77 petition signatures from parents who support his claims.

The accusers say Najera is a liar, and that if he was truly in it for the kids, he would not have forfeited Thursday's game.
"I'm here for the kids," said Najera. "But I'm here to show my kids to stand up for what's right."

The players who didn't participate in the protest still got to play because the opposing team shared some its players for a scrimmage game.

Najera says he plans to fight the decision in court if necessary.

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