If discretion really is the better part of valor, someone may have forgotten to tell the top senior running back prospect in the country.
After being ejected from his team's state football playoff game on Saturday night for two questionable unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, Aledo (Texas) High star Johnathan Gray called the two penalty calls "terrible" when speaking to a Dallas Morning News reporter. A day later, he was still fuming about the calls, with the Morning News citing both Facebook posts and Tweets from the senior's social media accounts lashing out against the referee who threw the flags against him and the University Interscholastic League, which he claims sent him a memo outlining his punishment for the ejection he received.
Here's what Gray said on Facebook:
Tell me how #88 for SV can play dirty and not get one flag called on him, but I get hyped with our fans and open up my stride when I break for a touchdown and get 2 15yrd penalties by the same ref. Smh
According to the Morning News, the Stephenville (Texas) High player cited by Gray in his message is wide receiver Brice Gunter, who did escape any official penalties during Saturday's games. Whether or not he was "playing dirty", of course, is another matter altogether.
Uil sent me a punishment. Said I had to run for three days. Flags where for changing my style of run and making a hand sign. $Winning$
@MrsHarris_AHS Haha yeah. That ref was just looking to through someone out from Aledo. It's all good though
Given the video replay, Gray may have had a point, with his celebratory penalty coming on an infraction as light as one can find. Still, attacking the integrity of referees on Facebook and Twitter probably isn't the best mechanism of response, either.
And considering the enormous spotlight Gray will be walking in in his expected future at the University of Texas starting in fall 2011, he might want to tone down those criticisms now. If he doesn't, there will probably much more harsh media critiques to come in his future, and possibly more serious penalties with them.