HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — A former Texas high school football player, Emmanuel Duron, delivered a statement on Thursday night after he knocked referee Fred Gracia to the ground in a move that drew sharp criticism across the nation.
In the video, Duron apologizes to his former teammates, parents, coaches and the Edinburg, Texas school district.
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 many people in the community disagreed with, according to NewsNation affiliate KVEO.
On Dec. 14, the State Executive Committee of the University Interscholastic League (UIL) issued penalties and punishments to not only Duron, but Edinburg Head Football Coach J.J. Leija and the entire Edinburg High School athletics program.
“We extend a sincere apology to the referee and his family. On behalf of the Edinburg CISD Board of Trustees and administration, we apologize to the athletes, staff, and our school community,” the district said.
The incident occurred when Duron came running from the sideline area after the referee announced the ejection, slamming into the official during the first half of the zone play-in game against Pharr-San Juan-Alamo.
Duron was charged with class A assault earlier this month, according to jail records. Duron was given a cash surety bond of $10,000.
NewsNation affiliate KVEO contributed to this report.