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The Georgia youth football coach who struck a boy twice during a recent game is now facing criminal charges.
The boy’s mother had declined to press charges, but local law enforcement authorities will still bring charges for child abuse against Gerrel Williams, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday
“The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office along with our local state attorney’s office have reviewed this case and the decision has been made that charges for child abuse will be filed, regardless of parent’s decision not to press charges,” Maj. Jacob Ruiz said in a statement Friday, according to ESPN. “The actions of this person are despicable and there is zero tolerance when it comes to the abuse of a child.”
Williams, the coach of the U-9 Savannah Gators, slapped the child in the helmet twice during a stop in play at the American Youth Football National Championships in Kissimmee, Fla., on Monday. The second blow was enough to knock the child to the ground.
Since the video went viral, Williams has been banned from the league and was fired from his job as a detention center counselor in the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.
In a video posted to his Facebook, Willliams reportedly said there was “no excuse for my actions,” but claimed the boy and his parents had forgiven him, “so nobody else should be bashing me,” according to WJCL.
That didn’t stop outrage being directed towards him, including from LeBron James.
“Ain’t no way!!! Couldn’t be my kid,” James wrote in an Instagram story Wednesday night with a screenshot of the video. “Hell, if I there and it’s not even my kid we gone have more than words for sure.”