A football referee from a high school is taking legal action against a coach for allegedly “clotheslining” him during a game in August. Trae Cardwell, the referee, claims that he had to spend four days in the hospital as a result of the incident.
Cardwell was officiating a game in Nashville between Maplewood High School and Hunters Lane High School when he was allegedly clotheslined as he ran down the sideline during the second quarter.
Caldwell explained that he was running down the sideline of Hunters Lane to officiate a punt.
Video footage obtained by The Tennessean showed a referee, presumably Cardwell, running on the field and colliding with a coach as the coach pointed towards the field.
During live play, coaches are required to stay inside a buffer zone and are not allowed to walk onto the field during a game. In the video, the coach seems to be standing outside of the designated coaches’ area.
Immediately after the collision, the official can be seen rolling over to his stomach while placing his hands on his head in the video.
After the incident, a postgame report stated that Cardwell was given time to collect himself. He was able to continue officiating for the rest of the game.
Although Thomas was not ejected from the game, his team was given a 15-yard penalty.
After returning home to Lexington, Cardwell experienced difficulty breathing and was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center’s intensive care unit, where he received treatment for his injured trachea over a period of four days, according to Kerrick.
In his lawsuit, Cardwell alleges that Thomas and his employer, Metro Nashville Public Schools, were negligent. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, and Cardwell is seeking more than $75,000