Coach Punches Student's Gut, But Parents Say It's Not What People Think

A video leaked in California showing a high school football coach punching one of his students in the stomach. Many people are outraged and called for the coach's dismissal. The school and authorities are investigating, but the coach is getting support from an unlikely source: the parents of his football players.

The clip apparently shows football coach Will Martin of Beaumont High School punching a teen in the gut. The teen, whose face is blurred out, has his hands up at the time and appears defenseless. An anonymous parent sent in the video saying that the coach frequently used the method for discipline.

The parent didn’t want to make his or her name public for fear that their child would suffer a backlash, but they say their son complains that punching is a common practice with the coach. He'd have the students stand with their hands above their head and tell them to close their eyes, then he would punch them.

Beaumont Unified School District officials immediately put Martin on leave after getting the video. They also alerted authorities, and the popular coach is being investigated. People who saw the video online are outraged and negative comments began pouring in about the coach. Many argued that there is no place for such violence in a school, and they’re horrified that it’s even happened more than once. They’re calling for not only the coach’s dismissal, but criminal charges against him.

The video went viral and the outrage spread like wildfire. But one group not complaining about the coach’s behavior is the students who play on the coach's team, and their parents. They're defending the coach and saying it’s just rough play.

“If it’s so bad, why are the kids laughing? Why are the kids thinking it’s funny?” said Jessica Taylor, who has a son on the team. “I don’t see a problem with it. My son says there are drills where you get hit like that, and my son says, ‘Mom, it’s football.’”

“He barely touched the kid, they were horse playing,” said Mando Cuellar, another parent of a student on the team, to CBS Los Angeles. “I’ve seen the video and you can totally see him smiling there. The kids are there, my son’s there, they all laughed afterwards. It’s something they obviously do.”

Another student's father called Martin a 'great human being'. Many parents say that the beloved coach was already missed after the kids played their first game without him on Friday.

“They're very upset,” said Jeff Furtado. “This guy is a leader in the classroom, on the field, everything.”

Many teens say that the coach's 'gut punches' are well known but mostly considered in jest.

Martin once played cornerback for Riverside City College and was a national junior champion. He worked as a coaching intern for the NFL teams the San Diego Chargers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is a married father of five.

Source: New York Post
Photo: YouTube

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