A great victory that was celebrated in Chicago and across America has turned into a humiliating scandal for a Little League baseball team. Jackie Robinson West Little League team has been stripped of its U.S.championship title because of the use of ineligible players. It has been reported that the team used players that were outside of the geographic area that the team represents. In addition, the team’s manager, Darold Butler, has been suspended from Little League activity.
It was found that the Jackie Robinson West team used falsified maps and met with neighboring teams to build a super team of players. Now the title of Little League U.S. Champions goes to Mountain Ridge Little League from Las Vegas.
“This is a heartbreaking decision. What these players accomplished on the field and the memories and lessons they have learned during the Little League World Series tournament is something the kids can be proud of, but it is unfortunate that the actions of adults have led to this outcome. As our Little League operations staff learned of the many issues and actions that occurred over the course of 2014 and prior, as painful as this is, we feel it a necessary decision to maintain the integrity of the Little League program. No team can be allowed to attempt to strengthen its team by putting players on their roster that live outside their boundaries,” said Little League International CEO Stephen D. Keene in a statement.
The all-Black team was lauded not only for their playing ability, but also for their sportsmanship. The team was honored at the White House and was held up as a shining example to other young Black athletes.