An Atlanta high school football coach has been arrested after television footage showed him punching one of his players in the stomach. In the clip, the coach is shown yelling at the player and after the punch, the victim is shown stumbling back and holding his stomach.
According to Hollywood Unlocked, the incident happened at Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta during the first quarter of a game against Douglas County High School. The coach, who’s has been identified as Carl Sledge, was removed from the sidelines by an Atlanta Public Schools police officer. Sledge was taken into police custody and is facing a simple battery charge.
A spokesperson told Atlanta News First that Sledge was a “lay coach,” which is a coach who does not teach at the school or hold a teaching certificate.
“The safety and well-being of all APS students remains a high priority for the district and all APS employees are held to the highest standard of conduct and professionalism,” Seth Coleman, a spokesperson for Atlanta Public Schools, said in a statement to the outlet.
The Benjamin E. Mays High School football team ended up losing to their competitors 48-42, Vibe reported.
A similar incident happened in Kissimmee, Florida, in 2020, ESPN reported. Youth football coach Gerrell Williams was seen hitting one of his players. He hit the minor twice, the second time hard enough for him to fall to the ground. Stars including Lebron James, Bruce Smith, Shannon Sharpe, and others condemned William’s coaching tactics, Hollywood Unlocked reported.