Football players accused of hitting official claim coach said ‘you need to hit him’

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SAN ANTONIO — Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas, the two high school players who targeted an official during a high school football game in Texas, spoke out on Good Morning America on Friday and said their coach told them to “do it.”

The incident happened Sept. 4. Video posted online shows the two players intentionally hitting the official during a play, one a blindside hit then the second coming in to spear him.

George Stephanopoulos asked the players, “Your coach told you to do it?”

Victor Rojas: “I was doing what I was told.
George Stephanopoulos: “By whom?”
Victor Rojas: “A player came over and told me the coach said, ‘Do it.’”
George Stephanopoulos: “The coach told you to do it?”
Victor Rojas: “Yes sir.”

Michael Moreno: “Before I was put in the game, the previous (player) that got injured… the (coach) pulled me and another player over and he told us… and I quote, ‘You need to hit him. You need to hit the ref. He needs to pay the price.’”
George Stephanopoulos: “For what?”
Michael Moreno: “For everything that’s going on in the game, there were racial slurs being thrown from this referee, unjustified calls, you know. There was a lot going on.”

George Stephanopoulos: “The referee has said he did not use any racial slurs. Did you hear the referee use any racial slurs.”
Victor Rojas: “He told one of my Hispanic friends… he told him, ‘Speak English. This is America.’… To an African-American, he used the n-word.”
George Stephanopoulos: “And you heard it?”
Victor Rojas: “Yes sir.”
Michael Moreno: “I heard him… when he called him (player’s name) the n-word…”

The players did not name the coach during the interview, but assistant coach Mack Breed has been suspended by the Northside Independent School District pending an investigation.

Robert Watts, the official involved in the incident, has repeatedly denied using any slurs.