Op-Ed: John Jay High School football

By Caleb Bailey, Sports Editor

If you are not that big of a fan of high school football or are still on the fence about it, I advise you not to go YouTube “John Jay High School football.” Why? Because you will see one of the most heinous acts that I have ever seen in all my years of being an athlete and sports fan.

A little over a month ago, a video surfaced of two football players at the San Antonio-based school blindside tackling an official. The first knocked him down to the ground as if he was a running back carrying a football and the other drove him back down into the ground.

The two players are Jorge Rojas and Michael Moreno. They were subsequently and rightfully suspended from the school. Two weeks ago, the two appeared on “Good Morning America” and admitted to hitting the official upon orders of their coach, accusing the referee of throwing racial jabs at the players.

When I was growing up, I was taught to respect my elders, but there’s no way I would have gone out of my way and hit a referee, the one person who controls if I am able to stay on the sideline and cheer on my teammates or not.

Nearly a week after Jorgas and Moreno admitted to hitting the referee, John Jay defensive backs coach, Mack Breed, spoke out, saying that he did give those orders to the players. He then gave his notice of resignation to the school not days later.

One of my friends, who is of Spanish heritage, said that the coach was sticking up for the family, which is important in that culture. Having a “fall guy” in sports is important according to NFL legend Cris Carter.

Breed, in turn, was Rojas’s and Moreno’s “fall guy.” This upsets me to no end.

If I were the head coach of these two players, they would not have had the chance to finish the game or explain themselves. You do not put your hands on the referee. Ever.

They would have stripped off every bit of their equipment that belonged to my team. If I would have found out that the coach ordered them to do so, he would have done the same thing, no matter the embarrassment.

I will never understand where the respect went when it comes to sports today. The incident in San Antonio was far from the last this football season, but it was certainly the one that got the most attention.

Someone needs to be held accountable for this. Someone needs to go down for this and I don’t just mean the defensive back’s coach.