What you put on social media can have real consequences, and the Atlee Little League softball team from Virginia found that out the hard way over the weekend.
The team, consisting of girls between 12 and 14 years of age, was disqualified from the Junior League World Series over a controversial Snapchat post. After beating the team from Kirkland, Wash. on Friday in a semifinal game, a team member posted a picture of six players flipping the bird with a caption indicating the image was meant for Kirkland, which hosted the game.
While the manager, Scott Currie, had his players apologize to Kirkland in person, the Little League office decided to disqualify the team anyway. In a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain called the post “inappropriate,” adding that it was a “violation of Little League’s policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct, inappropriate use of social media, and the high standards that Little League International holds for its participants.”
The decision was handed down just hours before the team was set to take the field in the title game, and instead the berth was awarded to Kirkland.
The team was met with cheers on Sunday when it landed home in Richmond, and Currie believes the disqualification was too far a reprimand.
“It’s a travesty to these girls,” he told the Times-Dispatch. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”
The Atlee organization released a statement apologizing and seeking further investigation by Little League International into the decision.
However, you can bet the players will certainly think twice before posting anything on social media again.