The football responsible for one of the uglier incidents of this new season broke his silence on Monday according to the Ventura County Star.

On Saturday, a Mount San Antonio College football player punched the referee – essentially knocking him out – and was arrested on suspicion of battery after the incident.

From the Ventura County Star:

Bernard Schirmer, who was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a referee, said Sunday that he wasn’t trying to punch the side judge and is “truly sorry.”

“When he fell down, I thought somebody else hit him,” Schirmer said.

Schirmer, 19, was ejected from Saturday night’s California community college football game at the Ventura College Sportsplex after he appeared to strike the side judge who was escorting him back to the huddle as he jawed with an opponent.

“My friends were trying to pull me back away from the defensive end,” Schirmer said. “I didn’t know the ref was right inside of me, bear hugging me.”

Schirmer said he often attempts to compose himself by hitting himself on the helmet “so I calm myself down.”

“I didn’t mean any of that to happen,” Schirmer said. “I’m truly sorry about what happened to the ref.”

Schirmer’s father was also quoted defending his son saying it was an inadvertent punch:

“We’re going to go in and plead not guilty,” Craig Schirmer said. “If they ask us why, we’re going to say, ‘Please look at the tape.’ ”

Craig Schirmer said the video shows his son made contact with the referee only after first hitting himself in the helmet.

“What he does when he gets mad is, he hits himself in the mouth,” Schirmer said. “My son never intentionally swung at the ref. He swung at himself to calm himself down. My son didn’t even notice him there.”

Could he have done it inadvertently? Watch the video and you decide.