The two Texas teen football players suspended from high school for tackling a referee during a game say the official was throwing racial slurs at them and they were following an assistant coach's orders.
Victor Rojas and Michael Moreno flew from San Antonio to New York to appear on ABC's "Good Morning America" with George Stephanopoulos.
Both students say John Jay High School Assistant Coach Mack Breed ordered the blindside hit on referee Robert Watts. "You need to hit the ref," Moreno said Coach Breed told him. "He needs to pay the price."
"You put your trust into this grown-up, this guardian, your coach, who's been there for me," Moreno said. "I trust him. I did what I was told."
The incident became a huge controversy when a YouTube video of the game went viral, showing the slam by Morena and Rojas.
The players accused the referee of missing calls and using racial slurs during the game.
Watts' lawyer told ABC and CNN his client denies using racial slurs on the field.
Breed was put on paid leave by the school and has not commented about the allegations.
Both teens said they regretted the tackle. "I would apologize for the mistake that I made," Rojas said.
A hearing is set for next week for the school district to decide if the students should be transferred an alternative school or expelled.
The Marble Falls Police have launched a criminal investigation.