A softball team from Atlee, Va., was disqualified just hours before the final of the Junior League World Series because of a player’s Snapchat post.
On Friday, Atlee defeated a team from Kirkland, Wash., 1-0. After the game—which was described as “feisty” by Richmond.com—one player posted a Snapchat story that included six Atlee player showing their middle fingers.
According to the Richmond.com, the post made it clear that it was intended for Kirkland’s players.
The Atlee coach, Scott Currie, said after hearing of the post he had the girls apologize to the Kirkland team. Regardless, the head office of the Little League World Series disqualified Atlee from the tournament Saturday morning. Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain issued a statement to Richmond.com:
After discovering a recent inappropriate social media post involving members of Atlee Little League’s Junior League Softball tournament team, the Little League® International Tournament Committee has removed the Southeast Region from the 2017 Junior League Softball World Series for violation of Little League’s policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct, inappropriate use of social media, and the high standard that Little League International holds for all its participants.
“It’s a travesty for these girls,” Currie said Saturday afternoon. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”
According to the report, there was plenty of contention in the semifinal game Friday. Kirkland, the tournament’s host, had a coach and player ejected from the game for allegedly attempting to steal signs. Another Atlee coach claims the disqualification was retaliation for how Friday’s game went.
Regardless, Atlee was bounced and Kirkland played the final in its place, losing to a team from Poland, Ohio.
The president of Atlee Little League, Jamie Batten, released a statement Saturday night, obtained by Richmond.com:
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 on 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.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.