A peewee football coach at the center of controversy, was fired from his full-time job and banned from the league after a viral video captured him punching a 9-year-old child in the head on the football field.
According to the Savannah Morning News, on Thursday, Dec. 10, the man in the video has been identified as Gerrel Williams, a coach for the 9U Savannah Gators football team. Reports have indicated that the clip was filmed when the team traveled to Kissimmee, Fla., for the American Youth Football (AYF) National Championship.
During the game, Williams was caught on camera screaming and chastising one of his players and striking him on the helmet with an open hand. Apparently unsatisfied with the first blow, Williams struck the child again, knocking him to the ground. On Dec. 9, the video began circulating online and quickly caught the attention of social media users who were outraged by what they saw. Once Williams was identified, reports confirmed he was also a full-time employee for the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office in Savannah, Ga.
“The person in charge of the AYF National Championship advised the officer handling the incident that the coach was expelled from the league and was no longer able to attend any more games, the report stated,” the publication wrote.
He also offered an apology for his actions, but social media users have further criticized Williams for what appears to be a relatively “weak” response for his actions. Instead of simply apologizing for his actions, he specified that he should not have disciplined the boy “in public.”
Amid heightened controversy, the Savannah Gators also released a statement via Facebook that appeared to defend Williams.