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Girls Softball Team Disqualified from Tournament for Social Media ‘Middle Finger’ Photo

August 11, 2017 | Filed Under Sports, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Girls Softball Team Disqualified from Tournament for Social Media ‘Middle Finger’ Photo

-By Warner Todd Huston

A girl’s softball team in Mechanicsville, Virginia, lost its spot in the Junior League World Series in Kirkland, Washington, this year after a team member posted a photo of some of the girls giving the finger to an opposing team.

The team banned from the tournament was Mechanicsville’s Atlee junior softball team made up of girls between 12 and 14 years of age. Atlee lost its spot in the tournament despite apologizing for the untoward social media photo, the Washington Post reported.

The punishment was handed down after last Friday’s game when six members of the Atlee team were seen giving an opposing team the finger in a photo posted to snapchat earlier that Friday afternoon.

After forcing the team to forfeit, Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain called the photo a violation of the league’s rules of good sportsmanship and said the taunting was enough to cancel the girls’ participation in the tournament.

Naturally, Atlee team manager Scott Currie lamented the league’s decision and said officials went overboard.

“It’s a travesty for these girls,” Currie told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”

Currie said that he had the girls delete the offensive image as soon as he found out about it and admonished the girls in the photo.

On Friday, the Atlee team played the girls from Kirkland, Washington in a contentious game that saw several ejections. One Kirkland player was ejected for stealing signals from the Atlee team, and officials also forced the Kirkland coach from the field.

Currie said that the Kirkland team had been taunting his girls, and that was what goaded the social media post. Despite all that, after Atlee was disqualified, Kirkland was awarded the Virginia team’s spot in the tournament even though Kirkland lost to Atlee in Friday’s game.

On Saturday, Kirkland went on to lose its bonus game to a team from Poland, Ohio.

President of Atlee Little League, Jamie Batten, released a statement to the press expressing disappointment in the whole incident.

We are very sorry for the social media post resulting in the disqualification of our softball team contending for the 2017 world championship. Atlee Little League is an organization made up entirely of volunteers with a proven track record of advancing our standards of sportsmanship in youth sports. We are deeply disappointed this social media post did not reflect the core values of Little League International or Atlee Little League.

We expect Little League International will take the time to fully investigate the matter, and we will comply with this investigation by providing all information about unpleasant interactions including the social media post and the time leading up to that event — not all of which were on the part of those of the Atlee softball team. We desire to protect all youth who are recipients of inappropriate behavior both on and off the field, as we take very seriously our charge to impart the value of good sportsmanship. It is important to remember the young women athletes involved in this unfortunate event are minors who are part of the fabric of this community that supported them and which they were honored to represent.

Those involved feel very deeply this lapse in judgment, and wish your consideration for their privacy at this time. These young athletes are part of Atlee Little League. As all young athletes are trained to do, they will brush themselves off after a loss, and try again — after having learned a most valuable lesson

For its part, the Junior League Softball World Series Tournament said it would not be commenting on the situation.

The girls, though, deserve their punishment. They shouldn’t be let off the hook just because they apologized. There has to be consequences for breaking rules, after all.
____________
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing news, opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that wrote articles on U.S. history for several American history magazines. Huston is a featured writer for Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart News, and he appears on such sites as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, YoungConservatives.com, and many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.


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