“He needs to pay the price,” Football players claim coach told them to hit referee

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DALLAS, Texas – A pair of high school football players who are accused of purposefully hitting a referee during a game now claim their coach told them to target the ref.

Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas faced harsh criticism after the brutal hit was caught on camera on Sept. 4.

The pair appeared on Good Morning America and claimed their coach told them to ‘do it.’

“I was doing what I was told,” Rojas said. “A player came over and told me the coach said, ‘Do it.”

“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,” said Moreno.

When asked what the ref needed to pay for, Moreno said, “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.”

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

“He told one of my Hispanic friends, he told him,’Speak English. This is America.’ To an African-American, he used the n-word,” said Rojas.

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

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