NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - The mother of the high school football player from Linden, New Jersey, caught on video hitting his opponent in the head with a helmet is defending her son. On one side, you have a good student with no prior behavior issues. His mom says he made a mistake and he's sorry. The other side, the superintendent says this is a mistake that can't be forgiven and that the team better without him. And somewhere in the middle a mix bag that includes race, media attention and interpreting the rules of the game versus the rule of law.
Surrounded by supporters, Anita McDuffy defended her son, Fritz Moncion. She said he is sorry but that it was an accident. She says his hand got stuck in the helmet. Video of the play from last Friday got her son kicked off the Linden High School football team and suspended from school. The play resulted in a 15-yard penalty.
The Linden superintendent said the video prompted a full-blown criminal investigation and Fritz's removal from the team. The investigation is continuing.
The family says there were derogatory words being used against Fritz all game, but they are adamant what happened was an accident and not retaliation.
Immaculata won the game. The player hit in the head received 10 stitches.