The two Texas high school football players who were suspended on Monday for targeting and hitting a referee are now alleging that the referee directed racial slurs at them prior to the hit, according to The Associated Press.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Northside Independent School District Superintendent Brian T. Woods said that the two players from John Jay High School will have a disciplinary hearing, but the district will also file a complaint about the racial slur to the Texas Association of Sports Officials.
District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez also announced on Tuesday that Mack Breed, an assistant coach on John Jay's football team, has been placed on administrative leave for his role in the incident. Breed, a 2004 graduate of John Jay, is alleged to have said "this guy needs to pay for cheating us” before his two players made the hit.
The district has condemned Breed's alleged comments, saying that his "suggestion was inappropriate and could have led to the incident.”
The incident happened last Friday during a game between John Jay High School and Marble Falls High School in Marble Falls, Texas. With approximately a minute left in the game, two unidentified John Jay players rammed into the referee over a supposed "bad call." Prior to the hit, two other John Jay players had been ejected from the game on separate plays.
Both players involved in the hit were immediately ejected, as well.
The referee, identified by TexasHSFootball as Robert Watts, has been officiating high school football games for 14 years. Although ESPN reported that Watts was seeking to press charges, Watts told TexasHSFootball that he won't be rushing into anything.
“I like to keep my officiating quiet; unfortunately this will be big news," Watts said on Monday. "Libel and slander have already been committed against me. I will be contacting the appropriate people soon and any statement from me will come at a later date.”
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