Even though officials in just about every sport from cricket to American football to professional European kickball (aka: soccer) are technically considered a part of the field, it’s just not all that out of the ordinary that a referee every now and then may get a bit jostled about by players. Yet even the most novice of sports fans agree that a duo of Texas football players purposefully blindsided a backfield ref.
As reported by Karen Workman of The News York Times on Sept. 9, 2015, and also by Tom Cleary of the new media portal Heavy.com on Sept. 8, 2015, referee Robert Watts has been identified as the on field official who was violently blindsided not once, but twice during the closing minutes of last weekend’s contest between John Jay High School of San Antonio and Marble Falls High School. Now word is bubbling to the surface two very conflicting reasons why Watts is still undergoing medical care for the savage cheap shots meted out to him.
But as reported, Pascual Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Northside Independent School District, stated during a Tuesday news conference that the two John Jay players are accusing Watts of making “racial slurs directed at them.” Those that agree with the accusations against the 14-year veteran referee have taken to social media echoing the same, yet offering up little in the way of proof:
@belladiaz33 ‘How is a ref going to call players ‘n*****s” and get away with it ..’
@Nick_lopez24 ‘I don’t blame jay for smacking that ref when he or one of the refs called someone a n****r and wasn’t calling the plays.’
Casting doubt on the charges would be the surface flaw that both supposedly maligned students aren’t black, but Latino. Also brought to light is that both student-athletes have told school officials that much like Johnny being ordered by Sensei Kreese to sweep Daniel-san’s leg, these youths were ordered by an assistant coach to drop the proverbial hammer on Referee Watts. As Mr. Gonzalez also said in the news conference, the players maintain that one of their assistant coach’s, Mack Breed, ordered the hits, saying something like “that guy needs to pay for cheating us” in a game that ended up a 15-9 victory for Marble Falls High School.
The players in question are currently being investigated by the Marble Falls Police Department for possible criminal charges, as well as their school district and the organization that oversees high school sports in Texas investigating the incident. Both students, currently suspended, face a school disciplinary hearing which could see them booted from the team as well as possibly facing expulsion from school.
In a separate Heavy.com report from Clearly also on Sept. 8, 2015, it’s noted that “The players told the school district they felt ‘a lot of frustration’ over what they perceived to be wrong or missed calls by the referees during the game.” Coach Breed has since been placed on administrative leave. The John Jay head coach, Gary Gutierrez, is also facing an investigation.
As reported, Breed is from San Antonio and an alumni from John Jay High School. Graduating in 2004, he was one of the top 10 sports prospects in the San Antonio area during his senior year. It was after high school that he attended the University of Missouri, but due to injury, spent the majority of his 4-year stint sitting on the bench. But he didn’t always ride the pine. Breed did actually participate in a handful of plays, but only as a member of the back-up squad.
In the meantime, Wayne Elliott, the secretary of the Austin Football Officials Association, stated that Mr. Watts is still “very upset” over the cheap shots and wants to press charges. “The first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again,” Elliott told the media.