Sunday, February 15, 2015


I'm tired of reading about parents messing things up for children. I say this as a response to many things, but primarily because of what happened recently to the Jackie Robinson West Little League team out of Chicago. If you don't know, that team won the National Title this past summer in the Little League World Series. This was significant because they were the first all black team to ever do so. Sadly, they have now been stripped of that title because the adults involved with the team cheated. They recruited players from outside designated boundaries in order to create a better team.

The worst part for me is that the Title represented so much more than baseball. Chicago is a city mired in serious gun violence and last summer's victory for those kids stood for something very significant. It meant that despite their surroundings, and if given an opportunity, with hard work and commitment you could accomplish something spectacular. It sent a great message to other kids within that community. Now, it's gone.

Before the adults involved in this nonsense moved forward with their scheme, why didn't they bother to think about the consequences? In addition, truly accomplishing what they did with integrity would have been inspirational to so many other inner-city kids. The adults had to realize that doing what they did would have terrible results. But apparently they didn't care. They basked in the moment and enjoyed all of its perks (the kids and their coaches got to go to Washington and meet President Obama) all the while knowing it was wrong. The kids are just innocent bystanders in this whole mess. They did what they were supposed to do: stay true to something and perform at a high level. Again, they did this despite some tough surroundings.

Of course there are questions now. Were the other teams scrutinized as much as the Chicago team? Were they held to tougher standards? Maybe it's the Chicago adults who should be questioning their standards. Those standards, or any for that matter, sure as hell weren't there when those decisions were being made.