The youth football coach who struck a 9-year-old player twice, knocked him to the ground and grabbed him by the helmet to shove him away is banned for life from American Youth Football and was fired from his job as a detention center counselor.
After his weak apology, you might want more to happen to Gerrel Williams.
“At the end of the day, I am a man, and I’m not gon’ make no excuses for what I did,” Williams said in a Facebook video, which shows him nibbling on crow at a dining table. “I was wrong. I shouldn’t have disciplined him in public – I shoulda waited ’til he got back – for doing what he did.”
So only the time and the place was the issue? The viral video of the incident, with more than 4 million views, has caused a furor. At halftime of a game at the AYF National Championship in Kissimmee, Florida, Williams is shown throwing a right cross to a Savannah (Georgia) Gators player’s helmet, staggering him. Williams walks away, talking toward the stands, and then circles back to the same boy and knocks him to the ground with another right cross. When the kid stands up, Williams uses two hands to grab his helmet and shoves him toward the sideline.
“If (I’m) there and it’s not even my kid we gone [sic] have more than words for sure,” NBA star LeBron James posted on Instagram.
FOX Sports commentator Shannon Sharpe tweeted, “I’ll whip him even IF* that’s his kid. I won’t let anyone pray [sic] on the weak or vulnerable in front of me.”
Williams avoided charges because the boy’s mother declined to press any. Williams said the kid and his parents forgave him, “so nobody else should be bashing me.” Too bad the kid didn’t get to choose that.
However, he might not be off the hook as far as criminal charges. On Friday, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement: “The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, along with our local state attorney’s office, has reviewed this case and the decision has been made that charges for child abuse will be filed, regardless of parent’s decision not to press charges.”