Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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There are things in the sports world that absolutely make me sick. One of those things is when adults take advantage of innocent children for their own gain. News of the most glaring example of this crap broke this morning when it was announced that Little League Baseball would be stripping the U.S. Little League World Series Title from the Jackie Robinson West baseball team. They have also suspended the team’s coach, Darold Butler.
The Little League organization found out that the Jackie Robinson West organization took a map and tinkered with the geographical boundaries of their league in order for several players to become eligible to play in their league. That’s right, they performed the sports equivalent of gerrymandering (bonus points if you know what that word meant without using Google) in order to improve their team. The only problem is that they did it illegally.
You see, you’re allowed to adjust the boundaries of your league but you have to follow a specific process to do so. Apparently, the “adults” in the room, the people that these kids trusted to be the example for them to follow, didn’t think it necessary to follow the rules. That’s right, do as they say, not as they do, kids.
Now this isn’t a situation in which the use of the word “kids” is unacceptable. These aren’t twenty-one year old college students who are legally allowed to sign contracts, go to war, drink beer, etc. These are literally kids, no more than thirteen years old, who trust adults to handle things like this for them.
This type of crap just flat out makes me sick, because what should have been a once in a lifetime memory for these kids is now tainted by the fact that a bunch of “adults” decided to bend the rules for personal gain. I mean really, what kind of person feels that it’s necessary to cheat in order to get their jollies off by winning the Little League World Series? This guy should be ashamed of himself, because while these kids were showing up every day to play the game they love, he was building a lie underneath them.
Little League maintains that none of the kids on the team knew that any wrong doing had occurred. Frankly, I completely believe that. Because when I was twelve, I showed up to play ball. I didn’t know how the team was put together or any of that crap, I just played ball. I’m willing to go ahead and assume that these kids felt the same way.
My heart goes out to the players on this team. It’s a shame that the “adults” had to screw up this moment for you. It’s a shame that you have to be reminded of the fact that it’s not your fault.
My parting words on the situation are simple and they’re directed at the players. You still played the games, you still won the games, you still worked incredibly hard to get to the championship and win. Take pride in your work ethic. Take pride in the fact that you did what so many others only dream of. Take pride in the fact that you got to meet the President (that doesn’t just happen for anybody). Nobody can take your pride away from you…remember that.