The attorney for Texas high school football official Robert Watts, who was targeted by two John Jay San Antonio players in a game last week, said his client hopes to return to the field this season if doctors determine he is healthy enough to do so.
“My sense is he absolutely wants to continue officiating if he can,” Alan Goldberger told the San Antonio Express-News. “He’s been doing this for 15 years and is very dedicated, but his medical situation needs to resolve before he works another game.
“Rest may be critically important to him. I know right now he can’t go on the field, but I don’t know if he’s done for the season or done forever or done for two weeks.”
Watts, an official for 14 years, was working as a fill-in on a crew based in Austin for the Marble Falls-John Jay game last Friday when he was hit by the players in the final seconds of the game. The players have been suspended from the team and school pending a disciplinary hearing and investigations are ongoing by the school district, the Texas Association of Sports Officials, the UIL and the Marble Falls Police Department.
The players allege that Watts made racial remarks during the game, a claim his lawyer vehemently denies.
“He didn’t get to where he is today by making remarks like that,” Goldberger told the Express-News. “He didn’t last for 15 years as an official by being a jackass. You would have to be living under a rock to make a comment like that. How ignorant would you have to be to utter anything remotely (racist)? It would be laughable if it wasn’t so awfully hurtful. But it doesn’t surprise me at all, but it continues to sicken me.
“It is extremely hurtful to one who is the opposite of a racist, a bigot, to one who is a really good person, to be vilified in the press as a racist.”
Goldberger has called the incident a “premeditated crime” and said his client is cooperating with police.