The two Texas high school football players who violently tackled a referee during a game claim that they were following their coach's orders after the referee allegedly used racial slurs towards players.
Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday, former John Jay High School football players Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas voiced remorse for their actions, but say that Mack Breed, a John Jay football coach who's been suspended for his role in the incident, ordered them to put the hit on referee Robert Watts.
“I was doing what I was told. A player came over and told me the coach said, ‘Do it,'" said Victor Rojas, the player who tackled Watts first.
Michael Moreno, the second player involved in the tackle, said that he "couldn’t fully go through with it," but was told to by Breed before going into the game as a substitute for an injured player.
“A coach pulled me and another player aside and said, and I quote, ‘You need to hit him. You need to hit the ref. He needs to pay the price,'" said Moreno. “I trust him that he wants the best for me. I did what I was told."
While both players, recognizing that they're independent thinkers, say they're ready to face whatever consequences are doled out, each allege to have heard Watts direct racial slurs at their teammates.
“He told one of my Spanish friends, ‘Speak English, this is America.’ To an African-American on our team, he told him the N-word," Rojas specified.
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