TOMBALL, Texas – A family wants an apology from the owner of a youth baseball club in Tomball for comments they claim he made about the recent protests.
“He said, ‘You're not going to be rioting cause I gotta watch out for you colored folks,’” said Judah Duroncelay, 15, a baseball player.
Judah and his brother Jeffrey, who are black, were visiting from Louisiana last weekend for games as part of the Banditos Baseball Club. Judah said the comment was directed to him and his brother heard it.
“I cannot believe this man just said this. Like, this is so disrespectful,” Judah said, recalling the interaction.
Over the last few days, people across the country have taken to the streets following the death of George Floyd.
Judah’s mother, Tamika Duroncelay, said she was so upset, the family decided to head home.
“An apology to my children would have been suffice to say I made a mistake, I was joking, but it was wrong. It was just wrong,” Tamika said.
Banditos owner, Ray De Leon, said the players walked up while he was talking with coach Derrick Taylor. De Leon said he made a comment about no riots happening in Tomball, but not the second part.
“There was no racial slurs made to those boys. Nothing. That’s just a lie and I’m going to stick up to my organization and everybody who played Bandito baseball,” De Leon said.
Taylor, who is African American, said he witnessed the incident.
“In no way would I allow or sit down for anybody to make any kind of racial slurs next to me while I’m there,” Taylor said.
De Leon, who says he is Mexican American, believes the incident was a misunderstanding. He said he apologizes if he was misinterpreted.
“I have no reason to say any racial slurs to any kids. I'm a minority myself,” De Leon said.
Tamika said her son didn’t misinterpret anything. The family said De Leon has reached out to them through email but they want an apology over the phone.