An ugly incident at the end of a Texas high school football game is being investigated after a pair of players from San Antonio John Jay High School appear to intentionally target and hit an official in the final seconds of a game against Marble Falls High School.
According to Ben Baby of the San Antonio Express-News, the Northside Independent School District and the University Interscholastic League are investigating the incident, which was caught on video from multiple angles.
Spectators at the game told SB Nation that the incident in question came after multiple unsportsmanlike penalties earlier in the game, including the ejection of a John Jay player who threw a punch. The attack on the official came with about a minute left on the clock, while Marble Falls was attempting to run out the clock on a 15-9 victory.
The players involved in the targeting of the official have not been identified, but the events leading up to the attack are also currently under investigation. Via the San Antonio Express-News:
Both players were ejected. Northside ISD athletic director Stan Laing said the video was "very disturbing." Laing said the district is investigating the sequence of events leading up to the play, and the University Interscholastic League is aware of what happened.
"The question of what instigated that is what we're trying to figure out," Laing said.
Laing said the officiating chapter that oversees the Austin-based crew that worked the game is in the process of getting statements regarding the incident.
Players and students from John Jay have tweeted that the hit came after racial slurs were used by the targeted official. One of the two players involved in the attack of the official told SB Nation that he was "offended by the disrespect" of the official and alleged that racial slurs were used to describe both Hispanic and African-American players.
John Jay starting quarterback Moses Reynolds is not among those who made allegations of racist comments, but did seem to come to the defense of his team's actions:
This is for all the jay players and fans foreal...— #11 (@moses569) September 6, 2015
A father of one of the John Jay players believed to have been involved in the incident told SB Nation that the viral video is being "misconceived," but chose to withhold a statement:
I have advised my son to let the school put out the response to that misconceived video. Once that happens I will be more than happy to share with you and to share my feelings about an unfortunate incident.
KENS 5 in San Antonio spoke with Laing, who confirmed the two players involved have been suspended from the team. He also said that one of the players kicked out of the game for knocking over the official was not involved in the incident. Reynolds, while playing safety, was ejected several plays beforehand for a separated altercation. In total, four Jay players were thrown out of the game.
Laing wouldn't offer more details until he had more information on what transpired on the field. According to the athletic director:
"We have to be very careful with what we say until we get the entire story," Laing said. "It’s really unfortunate. We’re still getting stories on different things. That’s why we’ve got to make sure to get the entire story before we basically share it with everybody, because we don’t want anything out there to be assumed. We want to be very clear on exactly what happened."
My San Antonio reported that the officiating chapter is still working on getting statements from people in the hopes of figuring out what instigated the attack. For now, Austin Football Officials Association secretary Wayne Elliott told ESPN that the attacked official is "wanting to press charges" and that the first priority of the officials association is to make sure the two players "never play football again."