Nashville, TN (WTXF) - Malcolm Easley, a football player for Glencliff High School in Nashville, Tennessee, has been suspended after hitting a referee during last Friday's game, according to an article by Bleacher Report.
The incident was caught on video and shows Easley running over referee, Kyle Gill, in the second quarter of the game.
Gill reports that he does not believe the hit was an accident, because the two had discussed the situation just moments beforehand.
"I had spoken to the player on the play before and he told me that I was in his way. 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 said.
Local news channel, WSMV-TV Channel 4, confirmed he will not be allowed to play in the team's next game. Aside from this initial punishment, Matthew Gillespie of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, told the Gallatin News that the association did not plan on giving Easley any additional punishment.
"We have reviewed the tape several times and based on what we reviewed there was no intent to target the official. The player was running in the direction of the ball-carrier and hit the official. No information we received before or after the play would give us any indication that this was malicious intent," Gillespie said.
Brandon Easley, Glencliff's head coach and the player's father, stated his son will be in contact with the official involved. He told reporter Sam Brown of the Tennessean, "He has been given his punishment from the school, his head coach and his parents. There's a couple things he will be doing to make this right. It's a game off, it's (attending) classes, it's the letter to the official."
Easley's father also told the Tennessean that this unfortunate incident could have been avoided, and that steps are being taken to ensure that a similar situation never occurs again.