The two Texas high school football players caught on video drilling a referee appeared on Good Morning America today—with their attorney— and said the referee had used anti-Hispanic slurs, a charge the official, Robert Watts, has denied. The players also claimed that they were ordered to lay hits on Watts by one of their coaches.
“I can’t explain it,” said Victor Rojas, who hit Watts from behind before Michael Moreno dove on top of him. “I was doing I was told.”
“While on the sideline (the coach) pulled me and another player over and I quote ‘you need to hit him,’” Moreno said during the interview. “... You need to hit the ref, he needs to pay the price. Just for everything that was going on in the game, there were racial slurs being thrown at players from this referee. There were unjustified calls...I guess his emotions just got mixed into it and he told us to do what we did.
“You put your trust into this grown-up, this guardian, your coach, who’s been there for me...I trust him. I did what I was told.”
The players didn’t name the coach, but John Jay H.S. assistant coach Mack Breed has been put on administrative leave pending a district investigation.