Mack Breed, the assistant football coach at John Jay High School in San Antonio, Texas, ordered his players to carry out an assault on a referee out of anger that the official used racial slurs directed toward his players, ESPN is reporting.
In the waning moments of a September 4 game at Marble Falls High School, two John Jay players — later identified as Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas — carried out a brutal hit on referee Robert Watts, with one player tackling him from behind while another speared Watts with his helmet. You can watch the assault in the video below.
In the immediate aftermath of the hit, Rojas and Moreno were suspended from the team for the remainder of the year, and have since faced disciplinary action at their school (the results of which are not made public, due to Texas’ privacy laws regarding minors) and may yet be facing criminal charges. Watts has also threatened legal action.
In an interview with Good Morning America on September 18, Rojas and Moreno, while admitting responsibility for their actions, also maintained that they carried out the hit because their coach, Mack Breed, ordered it.
“[Breed] pulled me and another player and told us, ‘You need to hit the ref. He needs to pay the price.'”
A new report by ESPN’s Outside the Lines purports to back up the boys’ allegations. In a signed statement by John Jay principal Robert Harris obtained by ESPN, Mack Breed admitted to ordering his players to assault the referee. Breed admitted he was upset with the official and wanted him to “pay” for unfair calls and racial slurs used against his players, according to KHOU.
“Coach Breed told me that he directed the students to make the referee pay for his racial comments and calls. He wanted to take full responsibility for his actions. Mr. Breed at one point during our conversation stated that he should have handled the referee himself.”
An unidentified source said that Watts used racial slurs directed at John Jay players throughout the game, twice calling black players the N-Word, as well as using language offensive to Latino players — allegations that Watts, through his attorney, denies.
The fallout from the hit Breed allegedly ordered is far from over. On Thursday, Breed is expected to attend a hearing with the governing body of Texas high school athletics, to determine if any sanctions will be imposed on John Jay High School’s football program.
Do you believe that Mack Breed’s players should be punished for obeying his orders to assault a referee? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of: YouTube]