High School Ref Maliciously Targeted

Recently at a high school football game in San Antonio Texas between  Jay High and Marble Falls High School, two players maliciously attacked a referee in the game. There is no debate about this. The video clearly shows one player hitting him from behind and the next player spearing him with his helmet. This was done on purpose and with intent to harm. Watch below to see for yourself.

The two students were immediately suspended from the team and from high school. The district is investigating further to decide a suitable punishment.

PRO: Is there really a debate here. The students deliberately targeted the referee with intent to do bodily harm. If this happened in a classroom, these students would have been arrested, expelled and prosecuted. Because it happened on football shouldn’t matter. Officials lives matter. Officials need to be protected just as teachers and coaches. These kids need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. They need to be banned from playing high school sports of any kind at any school in the state of Texas (period).

CON: Why a debate? There are two sides to every story. When questioned about this incident, the students said that the official intentionally made unfair calls and directed racial slurs (the ‘N’ word) at the students. The students also contend that their own assistant coach encouraged this retaliation by saying, “that guy needs to pay for cheating us.” The assistant coach has been suspended for his part. Can you really blame the kids for loosing their composure in such a scenario? These are just kids, right?

Your Turn: If you were in charge of providing a punishment for these boys, what would decide? Does context matter and circumstances matter?

Comments 104

  1. If I was in charge of this situation, these two boys would be expelled from the school district and charge with assaulting an official. That official could easily be injured with those equipment that the football players have on. They showed bad leadership and a low level of maturity. Even if the official did make unfair calls and made racial slurs , the two boys should have reported it to administrators or someone of higher power. An individual can persuade someone to do something, but they can’t make a decision for that person. The two boy were old enough to make their own choice and in result there should be a consequence. Therefore, the punishment should be a charge with assaulting an official and expulsion from school. If the defendants has no criminal record then they should be on probation. The context does matter and should be addressed immediately.

  2. If i was in charge i would say that the boys should not be prosecuted because it was unfair of the ref to say those words. It was rude to say that so I understand why the boys tackled the ref. The schools never do anything they just tell us to ignore it so i understand why they wanted to get revenge. Teenagers don’t always think things through and in the heat of the moment they tackled the ref.

  3. If I were the one that had been in charge of the punishment I would kick off the team since. Another thing is that would have to face charges because you SHOULDN’T hurt a ref.
    The context matters because no matter what position you are in the game you matter no matter how “unimportant” you are. And just because you may be stronger than others doesn’t mean you will be missed.

  4. There is no excuse for doing what they did but this reckless action should not ruin these boys lives. I would suspend them from football, but would not expel from school.

  5. Quite honestly i dont feel the boys need a punishment… They were offended by the derogatory names they were being called, as a result they asked their coach how should they handle this and they were instructed to retaliate. Plain and simple no punishment needed

    1. I believe you are assuming too much, Parre. The students did NOT approach the ass’t coach about what the ref supposedly said and ask him what they should do about it. The ass’t coach just said that he should be punished for cheating. He did not direct those kids into doing what they did. That was strictly THEIR choice. The ass’t coach didn’t say anything about the ref being racist, either, so it sounds like those 2 boys made that part up to try to get out of trouble. They need to be expelled. What if a teacher or other staff member said something they didn’t agree with? Would those boys then hurt THAT person, too???

  6. I would decide to suspend them from the team only because the intent was very malicious. Things of this nature shouldn’t be tolerated out of students nor coaches.

  7. If I were handling the punishment for these young men they wouldn’t get in trouble. Due to the fact that they are in Texas so it’s highly likely that the ref used some type of racial slur. Also because the coach told them to do it. So if they didn’t then they might have been punished for not following instructions. Therefore the coach is responsible for the incident.

  8. If I were in charge of providing a punishment for the boys, I would have suspended the boys. The boys should have handled the situation in a different way. They should have been the bigger person and ignored the referee.

  9. If I was in charge of a punishment to give these boys, I wouldn’t give them anything, besides a talk. What you give people is what people will give you, karma. If the ref was being disrespectful on the field throwing racial slurs, of course they would react. I’m pretty sure ref’s aren’t even allowed to do that! The ref deserved what he got.

  10. I think that the ref. was probaly being unfair during the duration of the game. But, that was no reason for the players to attack him the way that they did. I think that those students should be benched for the rest of the season. I also think that being suspended from school for a period of time would be suitable. As far as the coach, if he really did tell the players to do that, he should be fired and or fined for telling the students to do such a cruel act.

  11. I think that the boys should be punished. The boys should not have tackled the Ref whether he was making unfair calls and using racial slurs. I also believe that the coach should be punished as well because he is an adult and should be able to show self control and be able to control his anger. The football players should have made a formal complaint against the Ref instead of causeing him physical harm.

  12. I believe that these kids should get punished but their punishment shouldn’t take away their love for the game. I would suspend them for a season and make then do some community work but only for a certain time. I would let them play again the next season only if they learn that that all refrees should get the same respect as any other person that helps with sports.I believe that the circumstances had a lot to do with what happened due to the fact that a coach let them do this and said it was ok. There is no actual excuse for this because they are adults and they know what is good and what is bad.

  13. My punishment would honestly just be the same ! They obviously need to be banned from all sports cause it very much look as if they did that on purpose .

  14. If i were to decide punishment for those boys i would have them banned from playing sports in school. If the ref did say those racist things they should have been the bigger person and should have been more mature of handling the situation. The boys were being ignorant and acting like little kids not like adults. If the ref did say those racist things then they should have handled the situation more maturely than trying to seriously hurt the ref.

  15. I believe that the students should be suspended from the school football team in all. No more playing for the team nor attending the football games. They don’t deserve to be on the field if they can’t control themselves, leading themselves and other team mates in danger.

  16. If I had to chose a punishment for the team I’d make them jog around the field one time. If I had to chose a punishment for the ref, he’d be fired.

  17. This unfortunate situation deals with two different perspectives to the people involved in the activity but as for the people around witnessing to event, there’s one concrete fact. What was done to intentionally physically hurt someone should not be uncalled for and forgotten, these boys deserve to be treated as any other person would if they had done the same thing. It is a matter of showing character and not falling into one’s emotions by some name callings. Yes, the act of the refere was unnecessary to say the least but he had not approached them in any physical way, as they did. So furthermore, these students should be charged for their actions which they were not forced to partake in but acted willingly upon anyways.

  18. The punishment for the boys should be just as if it was in the classroom. Being on a field shouldn’t matter. Everyone deserves protection. Not at all, words can be thrown around but it’s never ok to get physical.

  19. I would suspend both boys from all sports because who knows what will happen if this situation came again. Also a schoolboard meeting will happen with the ref, the coach, the boys and their families. They would have a decision about the situation and what will happen to them next. The coach will no longer be a coach at any high school.

  20. I feel as if these boys did what they thought was needed to be done. Although they followed through with this, they could have very easily avoided this situation. There are a multitude of ways they could have resolved this situation. I feel as if their punishment should have just been a suspension from the team.

  21. They shouldn’t have Been kicked off the team they should have been suspended because the ref was in the wrong to . Everyone should just move on after this .

  22. I would ban them from all school sports. What they did was wrong and was a bad showcase of sportsmanship. Even though the ref was being inethical it does not make it any better to tackle him down on purpose. I stand by my verdict and say they should be banned from school sports.

  23. If I were in charge to give these gentleman a punishment for their action it would be to suspend them from the team. I understand that they were being harassed but we all don’t know if that was the real truth. Their actions show everything. It shows only one side of the story. Sometimes you can’t always take matters in your own hands because there are others that’ll fight your battle for you and so that you won’t have to do things that makes you look bad, especially when people do not know the whole truthful story. There’s other good ways to go about situations like this.

  24. If I was in charge of providing a punishment for these boys, I would kick them off the team and suspend them. If they left any people injured then i would convince them to pay for all hospital bills. I agree this was showing bad leadership because these football player were showing how to be a leader and were acting childish. This situation resulted to immaturity and bad leadership. It shouldn’t matter where this situation happened ; these students should still get suspended because this happened on school property. I don’t think the coach should have got suspended because the two students didn’t show any evidence to support this situation. I believe if these students caused any injuries then they should not be able to enroll in any schools located in Texas.

  25. I believe with different perspectives come with different opinions. I feel like these boys should be punished and take the consequences of a man because they chose to do an adult crime. I feel like these boys are at the reasonable age to know the difference between good and bad. Both context and circumstance matters because someone’s life was at stake.

  26. I feel they should have just been suspended or kicked off because the ref and students where both wrong . The coach made racial slurs which where very disrespectful and the high school students acted as children . A sit down should be held .

  27. There are two sides to every story and I firmly believe that the players were wrong for what they did but were they really following orders? If so, the players should be suspended from a few games but it was the adult who was in the wrong. Instead of telling them to teach the ref a lesson maybe he could have said encouraged the players to ignore the ref and take the anger out on the field.

  28. They boys should receive some sort of punishment. They should not have taken it upon themselves to solve that particular problem. They try to blame it on the coach, but they are the onesame ultimately responsible for their actions. They are old enough to know right from wrong, and know that what they did was wrong. Their punishment should be suspension from all sports for the remainder of the school year, and if they would like to play team sports the next year they would have to present a well written acedemic paper to their principal and super intendent.

  29. If I were the one providing a punishment for theses boys they would not be allowed to play football for the rest of there highschool career.But the would not banned form all high school sports. The reason I say that they not allowed to play football any more is because they could have handled it a differnt way. They should not have hit the ref even if there coach told them so because they should have known in there that what they were about to do was not right. They are highschool students and they can think for them selves even what the coach told the was wrong.

  30. I think the players shouldn’t have hit the ref. They should of went and told their coach, and the coach could of did something about the ref making the rude comment. Then again, the ref shouldn’t have said anything rude to the players. The ref’s job isn’t to talk smack to players.

  31. Honesty, I would just suspend them from a game or two. Yea they smacked the ref but what would you do if you were in their position. It was’t right for them to do it but they had reason why. So instead of kicking them off the team, just suspend them.

  32. The kids should be suspended for 2 or 3 games. If the ref really said the N word he should get fired because he should be more mature then that. The coach was wrong for telling the players to hit him, the coach should of done something about it with out harming someone and the players was just listening to their coach.

  33. i think that the kid who bull rush him with the helmet so get susspended because he want to hit the ref n the kid who knock him down shouldnt get in trouble because he was trying to make a play and ref got in the way

  34. I believe that the ref had it coming because he was very disrespectful to the players. But to keep it fair they both should be in trouble. The ref should be fired forever and the players should be suspended for three games.

  35. I think it was appropriate that the students got suspended from the team and school. Even if the ref made racial slurs at them, it should’ve been handled in a different way. The players should’ve known better than to hurt someone to try and resolve an issue. Even though their coach told them they should “make him pay” the players should’ve known that hurting him was the wrong way to settle things. I wouldn’t be opposed to expelling the students from the school. The players knew what was right and wrong but they still made a bad decision.

  36. I agree with the school authority to suspend the two students from the team and school as they deliberately targeted the referee and attempted to injure they deserve what they got and whoever else was involved should get the same punishment.

  37. I believe that these boys should not be allowed to play high school football at all. They assaulted the ref with an intent on hurting him. Even if the ref was making unfair calls or using racial slurs, the boys shouldn’t have attacked him. If it weren’t happening on a football field, and it were happening on the street, the boys would be arrested for assault.
    Also, the coach should be fired from his position. He showed be a leader and role model to these players. He doesn’t show any leadership or role model qualities.
    The ref should be under investigation though as well. A ref shouldn’t be saying those things to a kid.

  38. The kids are just doing what the assistant coach told them so I think the assistant coach should be suspended from any coaching job

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  39. I think the students should be prosecuted to do community service they are in high school they know how to make their own choices and but shouldn’t be need to be banned from all school sports

  40. those kids need to show respect yeah it was a bad call but it does not give them the right to target a ref, deal with it get back on defense and make a play thats what seperates winners from the losers.

  41. I feel like the player should’ve have got kicked off the team for what he did to the referrer because he shouldn’t hit him at all. The coach of team also been fired because he had something to do with the student hitting the referrer on purpose. I also think the kid hit the ref for a reason it says that the referrer said a racial comment to the student that’s what cause the student to hit the coach.

  42. The kids should be suspended from the football for couple of games but should not be suspended from school. The official had it coming call a person the n word. But the kid overreacted and should have been more of a professional and tell his coach before he did anything. I believe both sides are at wrong and believe they should take the license away from the official and suspend the kid for 2 games cause that is not a way to act and he should have been the bigger person.

  43. These kids should be punished if not by law, then by school. They should be kicked off the team and in OSS. If the ref did direct racial “slurs”, then he deserves to be fired. In most to all situations and in this situation, violence is definitely not the answer.

  44. I Believe that the students should be punished but not thrown in jail. They should be banned from playing football at least the rest off this year if not more. If the coach said the N word or he didn’t the kids and the coach should have been the bigger people and handled it professionally.

  45. I think that these students should be punished but also believe that the ref should be questioned about if he was being unfair on his calls and being racist. The coach definitely needs to be severely punished for encouraging the players to hurt the ref.

  46. I feel that the attack was uncalled for. Yes, the ref was being racist and making unfair calls. Yes, something should’ve been done about it. However, this was a physical attack in response to words. This is unacceptable in school, so why would it be acceptable on the field? The students should be suspended from school, never be allowed to play any HS sport again, and the assistant coach should be fired. Not exactly sure what should be done with the ref.

  47. The football players need to be punished. Even if the referee had some racial comments they need to learn to control their temper and keep on playing football. If it were up to me I would suspend them for a few games and they would have to earn their spots back on the team. They need to know that showing that kind of violence to officials is unacceptable behavior.

  48. What they did was unacceptable. Even though they said that the ref was being racist they should’ve handled it in a better way. Automatically resorting to violence should not have happened. The players should have told their coach and gotten it handled in a civilized manner. Tackling, and injuring the ref only got them into more trouble. It didn’t have to be that way. I hope they get punished and understand what they did wrong in time. Hopefully some day they can tell their children what happens when you try to get revenge. Sometimes it works, but it’s usually better off left alone.

  49. I think that the players should be punished for their actions. If they are not punished they could go around believing that it’s okay to get in a fight anytime someone does something that you don’t like. They should not have acted right then and there, they should have taking the issue to an administrator. The ref, if found guilty for the remarks, should also receive a punishment fit for his wrong doing.

  50. I think the players should get in trouble because they should be able to control themselves and their actions. The ref, should also be punished for his wrong doing and saying not nice things.

  51. I think that it depends on whether or not the referee was make questionable calls and directing racial slurs at them. If this is the case then they should still get in trouble because they need to learn to control their anger but also the ref should get in trouble for this.

  52. I don’t think the coach should get in trouble, they need to realize the ref cannot say that on the field to the players. If the ref didn’t say any of that, the coach wouldn’t be upset

  53. I think the ref and both of the players should get punished. The ref should be put on trial for his actions if what he said is true. But, the players should be expelled from the school and charged with battery

  54. I would just not allow them to play high school sports for the rest of there high school career but I would not press any charges against the boys .

  55. I would still give the players a punishment because they could´ve maintained their composure but the ref should get some type of punishment as well such as not being able to ref anymore because he was racist towards to the players.

  56. If I was in charge of this situation I would punish everyone involved in the situation. I do not believe the football players should be banned from High School sports but I do believe they should get punished. And if the ref and coach are found guilty for their actions they should get punished as well.

  57. If I were in charge of deciding the punishments for this event, I would first suspend the official for his use of racial slurs, then I would fire the coach for what he had said and for driving the players to take this action, and finally, I would give the players a year-long suspension. No person in this event was innocent, and they all deserve to be punished.

  58. I think the students should be banned from high school sports and/or suspended or expelled because instead of handling it the way they did, they could’ve kept their composure and took their anger out in the game instead of the referee. If two students were to take out a teacher in the hall or in the classroom, serious punishment would be made. The same thing should go for on the field.

  59. I would suspend them for the rest of the season so they learn their lesson. Even if the ref said racial slurs they should have stayed composed even though it was probably super hard to. I hope that they would learn their lesson and learn how to keep their composure for the next season.

  60. I think the kids are still at fault. Even if the ref was being unfair and even if he did use racial language the kids need to stay composed and should not have blindsided a ref like that. As for the coach he should never be allowed to coach again if he told the kids that the ref should pay.

  61. The attack was uncalled for but that doesn’t excuse the ref for his racial slur. As teenagers it is hard to let something like that go but they should’ve put that anger into the game. I don’t believe that the should never play a sport again. I sure they learned their lesson but They should have to do something for the community or even the school.

  62. I would provide a punishment that consists of suspension in school for a semester along with expulsion from all sports at the high school. Context and circumstance doesn’t matter because no matter what they need to stay composed and understand what is right and what is wrong. There is no excuse for their actions. They should’ve thought of the repercussions before executing this harmful offence.

  63. If I was to choose the punishment I would suspend them for a total of one year of games. For the ref that is the wrong thing to do so I think he should get fired because there are two sides. If you get into a fight and one does more damage then the other they both still get in trouble.

  64. They should be expelled from there school in my opinion. There is no reason why they should have went to that big of extent to take all their anger out on that ref.

  65. If the ref did say that he should get in trouble too. Not saying that what the two boys was right because people get called the racial slurs and other bad things everyday not that it’s right but its sadly still true. If everyone started handling getting called these thing in violence or the same way the two boys did then things would only continue to get worse and all the people who went through physical and mental pain to get us to the point we are at now would have suffered for nothing. The Ref definitely should have been questioned and because he could lie when being question they should have questioned people around and he should have gotten some type of punishment to.

  66. The two players I think deserve to get taken off the team but I feel that if the comments and plays were being made unjust then they had every right to get angry but at the same time, I think there was a better way to react and they instead should’ve just talked to their coach about it afterwards because what they did was wrong and unnecessary.

  67. Although the official may have used racial slurs it is not ok to have hit him like that. Just like in the case of MLK jr. they should have taken their emotions out and hit the ball carrier legally, but hard and not have acted in violence. The boy’s punishment in my mind was justified. The assistant coach was fired and the boys charged. If the story of the ref and the racial slurs are correct though I do believe he should have faced some sort of punishment. But all and all I believe that the punishment was correct.

  68. I wouldn’t let them participate in any sports for the rest of the season. Even if the ref was using slurs they need to learn that they can’t just take matters into their own hands and do things like that.

  69. I would have fired the ref for using such garbage language. The coach I would also, fire and ban from coaching any type of sporting events. The two players should just be banned from playing on a sports team in the state but, should be cut some slack. They only did what they did because the coach took advantage of their anger and told them to attack the ref. What the coach should have done was to tell the two players to take the anger that they were feeling and put it into the game. The coach should have turned the ref into the head of the sports department and get the ref fired and banned for refereeing any sporting event ever again.

  70. I would punish them for what they did maybe like be off the team for a long time or be punished with like community service, but I also feel like coach should have gotten something if he said something to the players to aggrevate them into actually hurting the ref instead of playing the game.

  71. Although the official may have used racial slurs it is not OK to have hit him like that. Just like in the case of MLK jr. they should have taken their emotions out and hit the ball carrier legally, but hard and not have acted in violence. However, I do believe that the boys should only have gotten suspended for a year with a fine, due to them being influenced by a potential coach that they respected and maybe even looked up too, and because of the slurs and insults against them.

  72. I believe that they were punished too harshly. I think that a multi game suspension would have fit this scenario much better. They made a bad choice but jail time is a bit excessive.

  73. I would suspend them from sports for a year and have them take self containment classes and have the assistant coach fired and not be allowed to coach or teach.

  74. I think they deserve a punishment because they assaulted a person that was being rude. They should of just ignored it and played the game.

  75. I think that they should be kicked out of sports for the rest of the season and maybe some of the next season, they should get a fine and also have to do some community service. I do not think that they should not be able to play sports for the rest of the career in Texas though.

  76. I think that they deserve a punishment even tho what the ref said they inflicted pain on someone. Instead they could’ve talked to the ref instead of hitting them.

  77. If lets say the Official did use Racial slurs still does not give them the right to do what they did. To my eyes the punishments were just about right, I dont think they should have gone to juvenile detention for 75 days maybe a little less but everything else is good for their punishment and they should never even have the chance of being reinstated in sports.

  78. I would have fired the coach and taken away his teaching license. For the kids I would have not just banned them from sporting events for the rest of the high school career but I would have also expelled them from that high school and required community service. Yes the coach encouraged them to do it but they made the decision and could have caused greater injury to the ref especially with the gear they had on. If the story of the language the ref was using was true I would fire him for that.

  79. I would fire both ref and coach for not being a role model and doing there job. I would also fine both the players a lot of money for the refs health care. I would also ban all four people from ever doing there job/play ever again in the state of Texas.

  80. I would first make sure that the ref does not ref again, because their is no reason and excuse to use that kind of language directed to the kids. For the kids I think they should not play football, even if someone does make you mad that does not give you the right to hurt the person.

  81. If I were in charge of the punishment I would kick them of the team but I would make them apologize to the ref face to face. but I would have to make the ref say sorry too even if it wasn’t true what he said because that is still a really offensive word.

  82. If I were in charge, I probably wouldn’t let the boys play high school sports for the rest of their high school career. I would not press charges but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they targeted the official with intent to do bodily harm. The assistant coach would also be fired, in that sense their punishment would be justified. There are many excuses to get angry but no good reasons to lose your composure.

  83. The ref was in the wrong talking trash to them. It isn’t necessary though to drill the ref physically injuring someone intentional. I think the right thing happened to the kids. Their was better ways to solve this.

  84. If I were in charge of providing a punishment for these boys, I would decide on suspending the both of them for a full year from any sports and would make them do community services for 3 months. Context and circumstances do matter in this situation because these are two young boys, an adult assistant coach, and an adult referee. The referee should never have acted the way he did because then this wouldn’t have happened but the coach and the two boys should not have taken the acted the way they did neither.

  85. I think the referee, both students and the assistant coach should be punished. They all did something wrong and they should all have some type of consequence. For the students, I think they shouldn’t be allowed to play high school sports for a lengthy amount of time. For the assistant coach, he should start filtering what he says and not be able to coach until he can learn composure. As for the referee, I think there need to be a detailed interview asking him what he said and why he said it, and if he did say it he shouldn’t be allowed to referee. Jail time, I don’t think is the right punishment just because of how often stuff like this does happen. I think there are better punishments that will affect the students more than being put in jail.

  86. I believe there are many other ways to handle this situation, and each of them would not have involved a punishment for the players. Had they confronted him about it and not used physical abuse, they would not be facing jail time and would still be eligible to play football. I think that it is a little harsh to send these players to juvy and force them to reinstate to play high school football again, but I believe that the school and coaching staff should be pentalized, again not as serious as what they were pentalized.

  87. I would give them the punishment of not being able to play football for the rest of the year or for the rest of high school but I do not think that they should be charged.

  88. Even if the ref did say something racist to the boys I still don’t think what they did was right. They could’ve handled that situation in so many different ways that would’ve been better than intentionally targeting the ref and jeopardizing their football career. If I was in charge I would have these boys banned from ever playing sports in the state of Texas. They made their choice and they should suffer the full consequence even if the assistant coach had something to do with it.

  89. If I were in charge of the punishment of the kids, I would have kicked them off of the football team for their high school careers and make them pay a fine. I would also make them do community service.

  90. I would suspend them for a whole season and make them prove they should be back on the team before they can play again. Even if the ref did make a racial comment the players and coach should’ve stayed composed and focused on the game.

  91. I wouldn’t let them participate in any sports for the rest of the season I would also make them do work around the city have a little bit of jail time but not be suspended forever. Even if the ref was using slurs they need to learn that they can’t just take there anger and do things like that.

  92. I would fire the assistant coach that was involved. The players that took part in mistreating the ref could’ve understood the coach’s involvement as approval from an authority. In life, people are going to say hurtful things or things that make you angry but that’s when you have to exercise self-control. Instead of these players taking it into their own hands they should have just reported it to their head coach who could’ve then handled it. In my opinion, it does not matter if these players were provoked what they did was completely out of line. I think they should have to write the ref a sincere apology, have consequences at school, and not be eligible to participate in any more games for at least the rest of the season.

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