Youth Football Coach Fired After He's Seen Repeatedly Punching Children During A Game
Video of the incident elicted reactions from dozens of NFL stars and even LeBron James.
December 10, 2020 at 5:37 pm
A youth football coach has been fired from the team after outrage over a video that showed him violently punching two small children during a game on Dec. 7, according to Savannah Morning News.
Gerrel Williams, a coach for the Savannah Gators football team for kids 9 years old and younger, was seen on video punching two children in the head and ripping another child's helmet off in anger.
No room in the game for coaches like this. I hope he is arrested and banned for life. pic.twitter.com/1B0F2cLiqH
— Coach Reed (@CoachReed314) December 9, 2020
Cobb appeared to be angry about something that happened on the field and can be heard cursing in the video. After turning away from the stands, he violently hits one of the children on his head while another coach stands by and does nothing.
The International Business Times reported that the Savannah Gators were playing in the American Youth Football National Championships in Kissimmee, Florida.
The video spread like wildfire online and elicited harsh responses from dozens of NFL players who slammed Cobb's actions as completely inappropriate.
Once the video had been viewed more than three million times, the team released an official apology on their Facebook page. The team has since deleted its Facebook page entirely because of all of the negative comments coming from people who saw the video.
But before they deleted their page, they released a video of Cobb half-heartedly apologizing for hitting the children.
"Everyone has something negative to say. I'm going to apologize for my actions and for what took place, but at the end of the day, I'm a man and I'm not going to make no excuses for what I did. I was wrong. I shouldn't have disciplined him in public. I should have waited till we got back [to discipline him] for doing what he did," Cobb said.
"There's no excuse for my actions. He forgave me and his parents have forgiven me so nobody else should be bashing me," he added.
His weakass apology. That wasn’t his kid and the parents forgave him? Smh couldn’t be mine. pic.twitter.com/deFKpVTYNP
— TK F. (@BornARam916) December 10, 2020
Savannah Morning News later revealed that Williams works for the Chatham County Sheriff's Office, which fired him after the video went public.
"CCSO reviewed the video and we are very disturbed by the actions of Mr. Gerrel Williams," Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher said.
The news outlet added that an incident report was filed with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office and that members of the AYF National Championship told police that Williams had been banned from the league permanently.
AYF Executive Vice President Adam Laufer spoke with TMZ on Thursday and confirmed that Williams had been banned.
"We are of course beyond disappointed in the coach's actions, which are wholly inconsistent with the fundamental value of youth sports. The coach has been banned indefinitely from all future AYF events and activities," Laufer said.
The child's mother was also contacted by police and told them she is not interested in pressing charges.
Local news outlet WJCL said the Savannah Police Department had received a ton of messages about the situation but had left it up to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office to handle.