Videos by OutKick
A high school football ref in Tennessee is suing a Nashville high school football coach for allegedly clotheslining him during a game in August 2022. There is video of the incident, and it’s quite something.
Referee Trae Cardwell was refereeing a game between Hunters Lane and Maplewood. While running down Hunters Lane’s sideline following a Maplewood punt, Cardwell took a spill after running past coach William Thomas.
In the video you can see Thomas with his back turned toward the referee before extending his arm holding what looks to be a play sheet. Cardwell’s feet appear to shoot out in front of him before he lands on his back.
Cardwell finished officiating the game after being given a bit of time to recover. Thomas wasn’t ejected from the game as officials determined it was an accident, according to The Tennessean.
While Cardwell was able to finish the game, once he returned home he claims to have had trouble breathing and was transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center’s intensive care unit. Cardwell stayed in the ICU for four days to receive treatment on his trachea, according to his attorney Thomas Kerrick.
Cardwell filed a lawsuit for negligence against coach Thomas and Metro Nashville, Thomas’ employer. He is seeking over $75,000 in damages to help cover medical expenses and lost wages. He is also seeking compensation for “mental suffering,” according to his attorney.
Thomas was quoted in a letter via Hunters Lane’s executive principal Susan Kessler saying, “I did not see the linesman coming in my direction and feel very remorseful about this incident as it was never my intention to harm anyone.”