Big Issues In Little League

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I am absolutely livid. The past few years have seen injustices that are so blatant that I can no longer hold my peace. The most recent of which has sparked a tirade within me that you are about to witness first-hand.

On February 12th, 2015,  I was awakened to the news reports stating that Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West Little League Baseball Team had been stripped of their title. Apparently, they recruited players that lived outside their assigned boundaries. To make sure we have a proper foundation, I will inform you that the Jackie Robinson West Team is based on the south side of Chicago. Their base area is a predominantly black neighborhood. All the players on the team, the head coach and the supporting coaches are black as well. It stands to be said that this is going to be a major factor in our story.

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The team won the National Little League title in July of 2014. The title was stripped in February of 2015. Seven months after the visit to Obama, the city-wide parade, the team tour and countless other accolades. After they have been purported to the world  as Champions, they were then publicly humiliated by having said title stripped.

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A coach from an opposing team in Evergreen Park ( a predominantly white neighborhood with the coach and supporting staff being white as well) reportedly blew the whistle on the inappropriate practices. I cannot help but think that this dethroning of champions could very well be racially motivated. Not only is it insulting to strip the title from an all-black team, it is a further slap in the face to award the, now seven month old title, to an all-white team in Arizona. This is no reflection on the young boys who played their hearts out from either team. Just stating the facts.

 

The white run Little League Association was tipped off by a white coach that a black team had marred their impeccably white series of titles and that this should be rectified. In response, the Association set things back in proper order and awarded the title to a white team. That is how I see it and there is nothing anyone can say to change my mind. If this league’s prejudice is so deeply entrenched, so is my exposing of it.

The fact of the matter is, as long as the rules are clearly spelled out, African Americans can excel and even become Champions. Michael Jordan is a clear example of that. However, when their athleticism, talent and intelligence cannot be denied, there is always a question off the field. I am not implying that many successful black men have not done any wrong. What I am saying is that their problems were never brought to light until after they became excellent in their sport or became Champions.

On the same day as the JRW Team title was stripped. The Illinois Lottery Commission awarded their grand prize of 517 million dollars three ways to one winner in Texas, one winner in Atlanta and one winner in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico??

In the words of Steve Harvey: “You mean to tell me that you can play PowerBall from Puerto Rico, but can’t play baseball around the corner?” How is it that you can win an American lottery from being another country, but can’t play the All-American sport in this one? It is sinful that these kids have to be the pawns in a chess game run by adults. Why not make them exempt next year from competition or suspend the coaches. This can’t be anything less than devastating for the players we once hailed as heroes.

 

Shortly before this was published, the team had gone to appeal the decision. I guess we will either see the wheels of justice turn (slowly or rapidly) or expose any corruption that may be lingering in the bowels of Little League.

In a strange turn of events, Evergreen Park Little League’s rival coach, Christopher Janes, whose initial accusations cost JRW their championship title was arrested early Tuesday after police say he chased a stranger into her home.

Chris Janes, the vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association, chased a woman, who said she had never met him, into her home and began banging on her door and  shouted into the home asking for her husband to come out and fight him, then ran down the street, police said.

Janes was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, assault and resisting and obstructing a police officer. Then Janes was ticketed for public intoxication and using vulgar and threatening language. Seems like the JRW coaches aren’t the only ones to cross boundaries, huh Chris?

Scripture says what is in a man will come out. It’s out now and If you are going to go to great lengths to expose someone else, make sure thee are no problems in your own camp.

 It’s amazing that a sport intended to bring joy to young children has seemingly brought out the worst contempt from the governing adults.

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