Sickening viral video enrages LeBron
A sickening children sport incident of a coach twice striking a nine-year-old child on the field is now a police matter.
A video of the on-field attack has gone viral this week in a storm that has reportedly resulted in a life ban and a police response.
The incident is reported to have occurred in Kissimmee, Florida, at the American Youth Football National Championships involving the Savannah Gators U9's team on Tuesday morning (AEDT).
Video captured from the game shows the team's coach, since identified as Gerrel Williams, striking the helmet of a player during an apparent verbal barrage, before he strikes him to the ground with a second swing at his helmet.
ANYONE KNOW THIS EVENT OR THIS HACK “COACH”?— Offense🏈Defense (@ODFBall) December 9, 2020
I wanna be sure he never sees https://t.co/wFgY18txPX field or O-DFAM!
Pure Cowardice! Dude shouldnt see another Youth Event/School!
If that was my kid this Idiot wouldnt see💡again!
Doesn’t matter if kid’s his!
💔for lil guy! pic.twitter.com/obFwFRWbRU
The video shows the child was visibly distraught and walked away to the sidelines in tears.
The ugly clip has since sparked national outrage.
It has also cost Williams his job.
The team has also come under fire after it initially stood by the coach while the country demanded action.
"Please keep the negative comments off this page please," the team wrote in a since deleted Facebook post.
"This organization has great coaches we understand what we all saw yesterday was disturbing to us all but let's not blame everyone for one mans actions.
"The guy in the video is our 9U head coach. He is a good guy that just took it a little to [sic] far."
The coach himself also issued an apology in a Facebook Live video, while appearing to hit back at the calls for him to resign.
"I'm not going to make no excuses for what I did," Williams said in the video.
"I was wrong. There is no excuse for my actions. He forgives me and his parents have forgiven me, so nobody else should be bashing me."
The public fury eventually forced the team and the coach to wake up.
The incident prompted an angry response from high profile sport figures in America, including NBA superstar LeBron James.
James posted on Instagram he would have confronted the coach if he'd have witnessed the incident in person.
"Ain't no way! Couldn't be my kid," James wrote in an Instagram story written all in capital letters.
"Hell if I there and it's not even my kid we gone have more than words for sure."
NFL legend and American breakfast TV host Shannon Sharpe also posted on Twitter: "IF that's my child. I've got to have him, I'm going to carry his punk a**," Sharpe wrote in a post which included a series of angry face emojis.
Williams has since been removed as the team's coach and has been expelled from the AYF league for life in a ban that also denies him entry to any league game, according to an incident report from the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, as first reported by local Savannah, Georgia, news site wjcl.com.
The Savannah Morning News has also reported the team confirmed Williams' termination in a team statement that claimed the coach was "wrong and is fired from this organization's coaching staff".
The OCSO incident report revealed police were made aware of the video this week before officers contacted the mother of the child involved.
The mother did not wish to press charges.
While the police matter has since been closed, Williams' career continued to deteriorate on Friday (AEDT) with the coach also losing his job as a counsellor in the Chatham County corrections facility.
Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher released a statement to announce an internal investigation has been launched and Williams has been sacked on the spot.
"CCSO reviewed the video and we are very disturbed by the actions of Mr. Gerrel Williams," Wilcher said in a statement released Thursday.
"The Chatham County Sheriff's Office does not condone this behaviour. As of Dec. 10, 2020, he is no longer an employee of the CCSO."
Originally published as Sickening viral video enrages LeBron