HomeSportsNFL Hall of Famer Bruce Smith on Youth Football Coach Who Smacked Player: ‘I Was Abused by a Jerk Like You’

NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Smith on Youth Football Coach Who Smacked Player: ‘I Was Abused by a Jerk Like You’

by Jennifer Shea
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Smith was outraged when he saw footage of a football coach punching a 9-year-old player.

In the video, a former law enforcement worker named Gerrel Williams punches one of the kids on his team. Williams hits the kid multiple times throughout the football game.

Smith Finds Video Disturbing

American Youth Football Executive Vice President Adam Laufer said the coach’s actions do not reflect AYF values. He said the coach is indefinitely banned from AYF events.

“We are of course beyond disappointed in the coach’s actions, which are wholly inconsistent with the fundamental value of youth sports,” Laufer said.

Still, Smith was not about to let it go. He talked to TMZ about the feelings that footage stirred up for him.

“This was disturbing,” Smith, 57, told TMZ. “In my opinion, it was an assault… It made me reflect back when I was attacked and dragged around a baseball field by a baseball coach as a young kid.”

“I never played for that coach or that team anymore but the scars still remain,” Smith added.

‘Keep Your Head Up’

While it was good that someone caught the coach’s attack on tape, Smith said, that’s not enough. He wondered why nobody did anything at the time.

“Just as disturbing as the attack was, I was even more concerned and outraged that none of the other adults stepped in,” Smith said.

He added that he wants to send a message to the kid who got punched. “Keep your head up,” he said.

“I’m sure you have folks around you that love you dearly and they want the best for you but when they want the best for you, they have to protect you,” Smith said. “In his particular case, no one protected this young kid at this critical time in his young life and that’s disturbing.”