John Jay High School in San Antonio was placed in the spotlight after a Sept. 5 video went viral showing two football players attacking a referee during a game. Racist comments by the referee were mentioned as a possible motive for the attack, and the players involved told Good Morning America that they were "ordered" to hit the referee from their coach. Now the coach has confirmed the story.
Secondary coach Mack Breed reportedly told John Jay's principal that he ordered the attack to "make the referee pay for his racial comments and calls," according to ESPN's Outside the Lines. The report alleges that referee Robert Watts twice used the N-word during the game, as well as using offensive language toward Hispanics. Watts' lawyer denies his client made any remarks during the game.
John Jay principal Robert Harris said the following of his conversation with the coach who ordered the attack:
"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."
The players involved told Outside the Lines that they consider Breed a "second father," indicating that the coach's rage over bad calls and racist comments had been building for some time. There will be a closed-doors hearing on Wednesday to determine discipline for 15-year-old sophomore Victor Rojas and 17-year-old senior Michael Moreno, which could result in their expulsion.
A day after John Jay's principal announced that Mack Breed admitted to directing the students to tackle the referee, Breed backtracked. According to KENS5.com reporter David Flores, two sources confirmed that Breed recanted his statement, writing in a second statement that he "took the blame in the incident to protect the two players from being expelled from school," according to USA Today. On Thursday, Breed resigned from his position at John Jay.