White Politician Offered $50K for Video of Him Shouting at Hispanic Teen Tennis Players, Coach Claims

A local politician from Florida who was accused of shouting at young Puerto Rican tennis players to “speak English” and “cut grass” allegedly offered $50,000 dollars to see the video and/or stop it from being viewed by the public, the coach claimed.

A video of Martin Hyde, a City Commission candidate running in Sarasota, Florida, went viral last week after he made racially insensitive comments to young Puerto Rican tennis players.

The Viral Video

https://twitter.com/alvinrcouto/status/1200490832941457408

  • The viral video, which was posted to Twitter by Puerto Rican attorney Alvin Couto de Jesús on November 29, shows two teens confronting Hyde, saying the politician had made racist remarks at them and told them to leave the Bath & Racquet Club at the Celsius Tennis Academy in Sarasota, Florida. The story was first reported by Latino Rebels.

  • Javier Irizarry told The North Star that his 15-year-old nephew and one of his teammates were invited to play at the Casely International Championship, which was hosted last week by Bath & Racquet Club at tennis academy when Hyde began shouting at them.

  • The beginning of the video starts with Hyde, a Republican, telling the teens “why don’t you keep your mouths shut.” One of the teens in the video tells Hyde they are going to call the police because of his racist comments, to which Hyde responds “call the Chief of Police, she knows me.”

  • The teen and Hyde go back and forth for a bit, with the teen alleging that Hyde had said something racist before Hyde tells the teens that the club is a private club, ordering them to “get out.”

  • As the teens are walking away, Hyde follows them inside, the video shows. During the confrontation inside, Hyde demands the employees of the club kick the teens out. One of the teens in the video can be heard saying: “You’re telling me to cut grass because I’m Hispanic. That’s racism, man. How can you say something like that? Aren’t you human?” Hyde disputes that he made such comments, but as the teens argue that he did, Hyde responds, “Yes, so what?”

  • As the teens try to explain what happened to staff employees, Hyde accuses the teens of being on drugs. “Look at these agitated ... I don’t know what drugs they’re on,” Hyde said.

  • The video ends with the teens trying to explain their story to club employees before Hyde gets agitated, tells the two teens to shut up while waving his hand in front of the camera and walking away.

What We’re Hearing

Irizarry toldTNS that Hyde yelled at his nephew and his tennis partner “to shut up” because they were shouting instructions to each other while they were practicing on the court. He said his nephew didn’t hear what he said, and when he asked, Hyde reportedly told the 15-year-old that “he should be cutting grass instead of playing tennis.”

When asked how his nephew was feeling following the incident, Irizarry said this was the first time he had experienced a racist encounter. He said the purpose of sharing the video online was to “make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

Angel Diaz, the Tennis Director at AD Fit Tennis Academy in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, told TNS that he was in the locker room when the incident happened. By the time he was out of the locker room, the teens were kicked out of the club and were outside waiting in the parking lot. Diaz said the young tennis players were “crying and afraid” following the incident.

When Hyde left the club, Diaz said he confronted him to talk about the incident. The coach said Hyde was “aggressive” and “rude.”

“He said ‘[He doesn’t] have to apologize for anything because [he] didn’t do anything wrong,’” Diaz told TNS.

Diaz said that they had told Hyde they recorded the incident. He then became “super defensive” and offered them $50,000 to see the video, the coach claimed. Hyde has not returned TNS’s request for comment.

Following the viral video, Hyde admitted to WWSB that he told the teens to “cut the grass” at the tennis club, noting that his language was “racially insensitive.” He told the Sarasota Observer on Tuesday that he was going to end his City Commission bid.

“That’s going to be the end of it, as far as I’m concerned,” Hyde told the publication. “I don’t have any plan to pursue the consideration of the city.”

He has also made racist comments in the past. In a report published by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a police report from February obtained by the newspaper states that two construction managers said Hyde yelled at them, saying “You need to tell your f***ing Mexicans to turn off their Spanish music.”

Who is Martin Hyde

Hyde, a Republican politician, is an immigrant from England, according to his Facebook page. He went to St. Joseph’s College in London, England, and played professional soccer player for Brighton and Hove Albion from 1982 to 1983 and Southampton F.C 1983 to 1984 as a goalkeeper, according to his government profile page. From 1984 to 1999, Hyde worked at Copyforce Ltd, London UK and was promoted to managing director of the company in 1994. In 1999, he became President of Gulf Business Systems in Sarasota, according to his profile.


About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.