Coach ordered hit?: Michael Moreno Victor Rojas

Published: September 19, 2015

Coach ordered hit?: Michael Moreno Victor Rojas, Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas, the two Texas football players who flattened a referee during a game last week, spoke out for the first time on “Good Morning America” Friday to tell their side of the story.

The football play showing the two teenagers plowing into referee Robert Watts went viral last week, and the boys have been suspended from their school and team and many are calling for criminal charges, “GMA” said.

Moreno told host George Stephanopoulos that John Jay High School assistant football coach Mack Breed told them to take out the ref because of calls he had made during the game and Moreno told Rojas about it. Another player who was apparently told the same thing chose not to do anything.

“You put your trust into this grown-up, this guardian, your coach, who’s been there for me. . . . I trust him. I did what I was told,” Moreno said.

Breed is on paid leave while the situation is being investigated, according to “GMA.”

The teenagers also have accused Watts of using racial slurs during the game, an allegation that Watts’ attorney denied.

On the morning television show, both young men apologized to Watts and said they were sorry.

“I would apologize for the mistake that I made,” Rojas told Stephanopoulos.

Moreno said he wanted to be an aerospace engineer, but with the suspension and possible criminal charges, that may not happen. An upcoming hearing at the high school will determine what will happen with them, with options being expulsion or alternative school.

“Everyone sees me as this thug or this gangster, I did this because I’m this bad guy . . . that’s not who I am,” said Moreno. “Underneath the helmet and the pads, I’m a great kid.”

Rojas, who was in the honor society and previously had a good school record, said, “You can’t just do that because it’s something you were told . . . I’m ready to face my consequences. I just ask that I am greatly sorry for this and I regret it greatly, and I just hope that people can change their minds about us.”

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