ABC News’ Mara Schiavocampo and Felicia Patinkin report:
Two coaches featured on the reality TV show “Friday Night Tykes” have apologized for their own behavior after being suspended for encouraging dangerous play and bad behavior among their eight and nine-year-old players.
“Looking back, it was not good,” said Charles Chavarria, coach of the Junior Broncos in the Texas Youth Football Association. “You don’t realize what you say sometimes in the heat of the passion.”
Chavarria was seen in one episode of the Esquire Network series instructing a player to mercilessly hit an opposing player with his helmet, a practice so dangerous it is banned by the NFL.
“If that kid comes across, I want you to put it in his helmet. Do you understand? I don’t care if he don’t get up. Let’s go,” Chavarria tells the player on camera.
Chavarria was suspended Tuesday for the entire 2014 season for what the association’s chief executive called, “violations of the coaches’ code of conduct.”
Marecus Goodloe, the coach of the Northeast Colts, was also suspended by the association Tuesday, but for just six games, the length of the spring season.
Goodloe denies encouraging his players to use profanity but also issued an apology.
“I’m definitely apologetic for that. It was a bone head moment and a bad decision on my part,” he said.
Both of the coaches suspended Tuesday also took to Twitter to reach out to their TV fans, players and players’ parents.
“Just wanted 2 say thanks for all the support from friends & family. Its been hard, but Ive learned a lot! Im truly sorry #fridaynighttykes,” Chavarria tweeted.
“I apologize for my actions. Its been a learning experience and will definitely make me a better person/mentor moving forward. #NECOLTS,” wrote Goodloe.
“Friday Night Tykes” follows five youth football teams in the San Antonio area during the fall 2013 football season. The show, which premiered last month, depicts the pint-size football players pushed to the limit on the practice field and during games.
Critics say the show promotes an unhealthy level of competition.
“It feels like you’re watching child abuse…sanctioned child abuse,” ESPN Analyst and author Tom Farrey told ABC News. “There’s no evidence to suggest that this kind of coaching is effective in building athletes over the long-term.”
At least one of the parents of a player in the Texas Youth Football Association says the coaches have the kids’ best interests in mind.
“Sometimes the coaches can be rough and they’re trying to bring out the best of the kids,” said Lisa Connell.