Two San Antonio football players intentionally hit a referee during a high school game, sparking controversy across the nation that has ended the playing careers of both boys and could lead to the entire team’s season being canceled.
Video of the disturbing incident went viral over the weekend, showing one player running at full speed and spearing the referee from behind. Just a second later, another teammate dived into the referee, appearing to use his helmet to aim for the man’s head.
The incident happened as John Jay High School was trying to hold off Marble Falls at the end of a game, Associated Press reported. With Marble Falls clinging to a 15-9 lead, the team was trying to gain a first down that would have run out the clock. The penalties from the attack on the referee gave Marble Falls a first down, ending the game.
The players were reportedly upset at what they believed were bad calls against the team, ones that led to ejections of some of their players.
The incident can be seen here:
The San Antonio players who hit the referee sparked controversy, with many calling for criminal charges against the two players. They players have already been disciplined, with Northside Independent School District spokesman Pascual Gonzales issuing a statement that the players were suspended.
He said (via KEN5):
This incident is extremely disturbing, not the sportsman like behavior we teach students at Northside ISD. We are cooperating with the UIL investigation. We will handle this incident on Tuesday morning and schedule a due process hearing which will include formal interviews with coaching staffing, the students themselves and other athletes, anyone who has knowledge of whatever was seen.
The bottom line is, Northside will not tolerate this type of behavior. It does appear the athletes intentionally tackled the referee, but we have not confirmed it.
It appears the suspension will be permanent.
“The first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again,” said Austin Football Officials Association secretary Wayne Elliott.
There are some who believe the punishment for the San Antonio football players who hit the referee should go even further. Fox Sports officiating guru Mike Pereira said called the incident “the most despicable act I’ve ever seen on a football field,” and said he believes criminal charges should be filed against the players.
He also called for the entire season to be canceled for John Jay High School.
“The school district is investigating. So is the athletics’ association. And they have suspended the two players involved. That’s not enough,” Pereira said. “Criminal charges need to come, without question…. The whole team, to me, should be suspended. End of the season for Jay High School.”
The San Antonio football players who hit the referee could still face more trouble. The referee injured in the incident is reportedly considering criminal charges against the two.
[Image via YouTube]