A high school football player in Tennessee has been suspended indefinitely after a collision with a referee during last Friday’s game. Malcolm Easley, who was lined up at linebacker, took a running start and hit umpire Kyle Gill on a play near the goal line.
Easley’s punishment comes from the Metro District Athletic Committee. The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association declined to hand out further discipline, saying it “reviewed the tape several times” and found no intent to target the official.
Gill strongly disagrees.
“I think it’s pretty obvious what went down,” he said. “It looked pretty malicious to me.”
Gil said he had spoken to Easley before the play and that the player had been warned about his behavior.
"“I had spoken to the player on the play before and he told me that I was in his way,” Gill said. “I asked him how long he’d been playing football and he had to realize that the referees are part of the field. I told him that he should have to avoid me and not the other way around. On the very next play, you saw what happened.” "
Gill’s comments are in line with what a source on the field told The Gallatin News Tuesday morning about the fact that Easley was warned.
That source said Easley was told by the umpire earlier in the contest that he was “getting way too close” to the referees. On the play before the disputed play, Easley can be seen putting his hands on the back of the official.
Gill claims Easley didn’t come back to apologize after the collision.
A similar incident in Texas has attracted widespread media attention.
While it’s difficult to truly know what was going on in this kid’s mind, the referee certainly seems adamant in his belief that the attack was intentional and premeditated. It seems only a matter of time until Easley tries to get in front of this thing with his side of the story