Softball Team Disqualified From Playing In World Series Over Photo

A girls’ softball little league team is being penalized for a social media post. The girls are accused of showing 'unsportsmanlike conduct' after posting a photo on Snapchat in which the team is holding up middle fingers.

On Friday, the Atlee, VA, team won their game against Kirkland, Wash. 1-0. It was a 'feisty' game, notes a report on Richmond.com. Both a coach and a player were ejected from the field.

Apparently that feistiness carried on after the game was over. Several of the players took a photo holding up their middle fingers to the camera. They then posted it on Snapchat, telling the other team to 'watch out'.

Shortly after the post went up, Coach Scott Currie made them take the post down and apologize to the Kirkland team.

The head office of the Little League World Series got wind of the obscene gestures, and Atlee was disqualified from the tournament on Saturday morning.

A spokesperson for the Little League issued a statement: "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."

Currie says the girls are dismayed by the punishment. "It’s a travesty for these girls.... Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”

Jamie Batten, president of Atlee Little League, also issued a statement. "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," Batten continued. “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.”

An investigation was launched after the girls at Atlee complained that the middle finger photo was a response to the Kirkland team's inappropriate poor sportsman-like behavior. There also complaints that the Atlee team’s Snapchat photo was only meant for teammates. Ultimately, however, the Atlee girls were found responsible and held accountable for their behavior.

After Atlee was replaced in the title game, Kirkland went on to lose to USA Central 7-1.

Source: USA Today High School Sports, Complex
Photo: Twitter

The snap got them disqualified.

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