EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO)—Thursday Edinburg senior defensive lineman Emmanuel Duron ran back onto the field after being ejected from the game and slammed referee Fred Gracia to the ground in a move that drew sharp criticism across the nation.
This is not the first time an incident like this has occurred. A similar incident took place five years ago in central Texas.
The Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) released a statement on the incident.
“On the evening of December 3, 2020, another vicious and deliberate assault was inflected on a TASO football official by a player who had just been ejected from the contest. Unfortunately, this type of blind‑sided assault on an official while working on the field is not new to Texas football.
Though this latest incident is only hours old, TASO has begun our investigation and started collaboration with the UIL to bring this matter to a suitable disposition,” the organization said in a statement.
You can watch the incident here.
The Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) decided to remove the entire Edinburg high school football team from playoffs after Duron alone tackled the referee, a move that people in the community disagree with.
“I don’t think its right man. I played football myself in high school and I think that’s messed up you know? Like those kids have an opportunity to go somewhere else but because of him its not,” said Nicholas Stallworth, an Edinburg resident.
“Its going to be harsh for them. They just gotta keep their head up and move forward and learn from this for the future,” said Hugo Guajardo.
Jamarion Owens, a defensive tackle for nearby Mercedes High School tweeted out his sympathies for the Edinburg players.
Duron was a multisport athlete, and finished 5th in state at wrestling in March this year.
So far the UIL has not said what the punishment for Duron will be, but the two players from John Jay High School who committed a similar act in 2015 were banned from UIL sports for a time, making it unlikely that Duron will be able to compete in wrestling this winter. Duron was charged with assault Friday morning.