Shocking video shows youth football coach bashing a player’s head during a 9-and-under game – as he’s banned from tournament and slammed by LeBron James
- A youth football coach from Savannah has been given a lifetime ban from a nationwide sports organization after video surfaced showing him hitting a player
- American Youth Football banned Savannah Gators coach Gerrell Williams for life after he was seen repeatedly slapping a player on his nine-and-under team
- The unidentified boy is knocked to the ground before running off the field
- The video drew criticism from LeBron James and ex-NFL star Shannon Sharpe
- Williams did offer an apology in a Facebook video saying: ‘I’m not going to make any excuses for what I did’
- Williams also said his critics should stop attacking him because the boy’s parents forgave him: ‘So nobody else should be bashing me. Thank you’
A youth football coach from Savannah has been given a lifetime ban from a nationwide sports organization after video surfaced showing him repeatedly slapping a player on his nine-and-under team during a recent tournament in Florida.
American Youth Football (AYF), the self-described largest youth football and cheer organization in the world, responded to the video by banning Savannah Gators coach Gerrell Williams for life and giving the viral footage to the Osceola (Florida) Sheriff’s Department. The department website has no record of Williams being charged.
The viral cellphone video shows Williams slapping one of his player’s twice as the boy ran off the field. The second slap knocked the child to the ground. He is later seen grabbing the child by the neck.
The age of the boy has not been revealed.
The viral cellphone video, which has drawn criticism from LeBron James and retired NFL star Shannon Sharpe, shows coach Gerrell Williams (circled) winding up and slapping one of his player’s twice as the boy ran off the field. The second slap knocked the child to the ground
Williams is seen striking the boy twice during the video and grabbing him by the neck
Williams, who has been misidentified in the press as ‘Alexis Cobb,’ did offer a public apology
The video, which was since gone viral, has drawn sharp criticism from LeBron James and retired NFL star Shannon Sharpe,
‘Ain’t no way!’ James wrote on Instagram. ‘Hell if… it’s not even my kid we gone have more than words for sure.’
‘I’ll whip him even IF* that’s his kid,’ tweeted Sharp, who is now a host on the sports network, FS1. ‘I won’t let anyone pray on the weak or vulnerable in front of me. Not going to happen.’
James slammed Williams while responding to a post from former Broncos star Shannon Sharpe
Williams offered an apology in a social media video.
‘Everybody been seeing the video,’ began the man presumed to be Williams, although he never specifically identifies himself. ‘Everyone have something negative to say.
‘I’m gonna apologize for my actions about what took place today,’ he continued. ‘But at the end of the day I am a man and I’m not going to make no excuses for what I did. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have discipled [the child] in public. I should’ve waited till we got back.
‘At the end of the day I apologize to him, the kids, the city and my family back at home. I do apologize.’
Williams then ended his apology by explaining that his critics should stop their attacks against him because the boy’s parents have already forgiven him.
‘There’s no excuse for my actions,’ he concluded. ‘I hope [the player] forgive me, and his parents have forgiven me, so nobody else should be bashing me. Thank you.’
TMZ is reporting that Williams was fired from his job at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia in response to the viral video.
Sharpe wrote on Twitter that he would have attacked anyone who did that to his child
The team has been more or less silent on the issue, but according to multiple reports, the Gators did release a statement on Facebook that has since been deleted: ‘The guy in the video is our 9U head coach he is a good guy that just took it a little too far on a 9U player we understand and we are aware of what’s going on and will like to apologize to the #BigPeachConference…’
The AYF released its own statement.
‘Earlier this week, AYF tournament officials were provided with cell phone video of a 9U coach – Gerrell Williams – behaving in complete breach of the AYF Code of Conduct,’ read the statement. ‘The video was provided to AYF the morning after the incident and was turned over to the Osceola County Sheriff.’
Williams was barred from even watching the Gators subsequent games in the youth tournament in Kissimmee, Florida this week.
AYF Executive Vice President Adam Laufer also told TMZ: ‘We are of course beyond disappointed in the coach’s actions, which are wholly inconsistent with the fundamental value of youth sports.’
Williams was banned for life from any involvement with American Youth Football