May 16, 2021 16:40

Youth football coach banned for life after striking 9U player; criminal probe underway

GEORGIA — A Georgia youth football coach who was seen in a viral video this week striking his player twice and knocking him to the ground has been banned for life from the world’s largest youth football organization. Now people are calling for his arrest.

American Youth Football announced Gerrell Williams’ ban on Thursday, days after the Savannah football coach was captured in a video winding up and whacking a young player. He will not be allowed at the 2020 National Championships anymore and will be prohibited from entering the venue in Kissimmee, Fla.

“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. The video was provided to AYF the morning after the incident and was turned over to the Osceola County Sheriff (Florida),” the organization said in a statement obtained by Fox News.

Williams was identified by the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said Williams was removed from the detention center as a counselor.

“CCSO reviewed the video and we are very disturbed by the actions of Mr. Gerrel Williams,” Chatham County Sheriff John T. Wilcher said in a statement. “The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office does not condone this behavior. As of Dec. 10, 2020, he is no longer an employee of the CCSO. Mr. Williams was not a deputy; he was a counselor in the detention center.”

After a social media outcry, the Savannah Police Department released a statement on the incident.

“Over the past two days we have received numerous messages on social media regarding the actions of a Savannah-area youth football coach that was caught on video and has been shared widely on social media,” the police wrote on Facebook.

“We thank you all for passing along this information for our detectives to look into. We want to assure everyone that we did immediately look into this and quickly learned that this incident occurred while the team was out of town. After contacting the police department in the city the team was at when the incident occurred, we learned that their detectives had already begun investigating the coach’s actions. Once again, we thank you all for contacting SPD and ask you to continue to contact the department anytime you see anything in this city that needs officer attention.”

The coach allegedly involved in the incident is said to have issued an apology in a Facebook Live video posted on a woman’s account.

“I’m gonna apologize for my actions … At the end of the day, I am a man. I aint gonna make no excuses for what I did. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have disciplined him … hit him in public. I shoulda waited ‘til 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. There’s no excuse for my actions. He forgave me and his parents have forgiven me, so nobody else should be bashing me,” the coach said.

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