(8-6-17) An inappropriate social media (Snap Chat) posting eliminated the girls softball team from Atlee, Virginia in the Junior League World Series Championship (12-to-15-year-old girls) game on Saturday. It was the only loss they would suffer during their run in the tournament.
The Atlee (Virginia) Little League softball team had been undefeated all week in the tournament held in Kirkland, Washington. Atlee picked up a 1-0 win on Friday in the semifinal game against Kirkland and was suppose to advance to the championship game against Poland, Ohio.
After the win over Kirkland a member of the Atlee team posted a picture on Snapchat showing six members of the team expressing their thoughts by showing their middle fingers. The caption read ‘watch out host‘ referring to the Kirkland team.
Athletes at all levels are constantly being encouraged to be careful of what they say and pictures they post on their social media accounts. This is a good example of what can happen ‘off the field’.
Just hours before players were set to take the field on national television (ESPN2) to play in the championship game it was decided that the Atlee team would not play and was disqualified from the tournament.
The reason according to Little League officials:
violated the league’s “policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct.”
They would be replaced in the title game by the host team from Kirkland, the team they ‘saluted’ in the photo.
Jamie Batten, the president of Atlee Little League, released a statement late Saturday night about the softball team’s disqualification due to an inappropriate Snapchat post.
“We are deeply disappointed this social media post did not reflect the core values of Little League International or Atlee Little League,” he wrote. “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.”
Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain
“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.”
Scott Currie, Atlee manager
“It’s a travesty for these girls,. Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”
Social media, the source of the problem, was very active on the situation and should provide for some discussions across the country.
- Atlee Little League advances to Junior Softball World Series championship game
- PCA’s-Student-Athlete Social Media Agreement
- Why Youth Sports Strike Out