Richmond-area team banned from title game
Here’s a lesson, kids: The next time you want to gloat about beating your opponents on their home turf, think twice — especially if your chosen method of gloating is posting a photo of six teammates on social media flipping the bird under the caption, “watch out host.”
Just hours before the Atlee softball team from the Richmond area was set to play in the nationally televised title game at the Junior League World Series in Kirkland, Wash., on Saturday, the team was disqualified.
Kevin Fountain — a spokesman for Little League International, which runs the tournament — called the Snapchat post “inappropriate” in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, explaining that it violated the league’s “policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct.”
The disqualification didn’t sit well with Atlee Manager Scott Currie, who had found out about the photo shortly after the team posted it following a 1-0 win over Kirkland on Friday. Currie immediately reprimanded the children, aged 12 to 14, who were involved before demanding that they delete the post and apologize in person to their rivals.
“It’s a travesty for these girls,” Currie told the Times-Dispatch on Saturday. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fits the crime.”
According to Atlee assistant coach Chris Mardigian, who spoke to RVA Sports, the post came in retaliation to “several incidents of harassment” perpetrated by some Kirkland team members.
The Times-Dispatch added that a player and a coach from Kirkland’s team were ejected after being caught relaying Atlee’s team signals from second base to Kirkland batters.
Making matters worse for Atlee, Kirkland was chosen to replace Atlee in Saturday’s title game against a team from Poland, Ohio. Poland won, 7-1.