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Texas UIL temporarily removing referee who ripped the helmet off a Whitney student

A silhouette of a teenager in a football uniform running outside with the sun in the sky.
LM Otero
AP File Photo
A student athlete runs a drill during a strength and conditioning camp Thursday, June 18, 2020.

The Texas University Interscholastic League has temporarily removed a referee from officiating games after he pulled the helmet off a Whitney High School football player Friday night.

In a video shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, Whitney player Trey Haynes is seen colliding with a referee as he runs to the right side of the field before he is seemingly pushed by the official. The referee is then seen grabbing hold of Haynes and pulling off his helmet.

The video was posted by the student’s mother Karla Haynes Friday night.

Haynes was ejected from the game and Whitney went on to beat James Madison High School 56-28.

In a statement released Monday, UIL announced it would reverse the ejection and remove the referee from officiating games “pending the completion of a thorough investigation.”

The UIL announced its investigation Saturday but did not identify either the player or referee.

Most commenters on X expressed outrage over the situation and voiced their support for Haynes. Some doubted whether there was more to the story outside of a 10-second clip.

“If you knew my would know he is the most respectful kid ever!,” Karla Haynes wrote in another X post. “He did nothing to deserve this. Those that know him can back that up! If you notice he even kept composed after being literally thrown by the official. That speaks for itself.”

Whitney football coach David Haynes, the boy’s father, told NBC 5 that he didn’t see the incident but was told one of his players “tried to maliciously run [the referee] over.”

Whitney is 5-0 this season, something David Haynes told NBC 5 had not been done in a long time.

“When you get kicked out of the game, you get suspended for the next game,” Haynes told NBC 5. “He’s a great kid, so I don’t want him to be suspended his senior year for playing football the right way.”

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Megan Cardona is a daily news reporter for KERA News. She was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and previously worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.