MECHANICSVILLE, Va. — A Little League softball team was disqualified from its World Series matchup over an offensive social media post.
The Atlee Little League softball team was just hours away from the big game when they were disqualified, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The team had just defeated Kirkland by the score of 1-0 in the semifinal game on Friday when a player posted a picture on Snapchat featuring several players showing their middle fingers.
The gesture was meant for the Kirkland team, officials say.
Atlee manager Scott Currie was made aware of the picture after it was posted. The post was deleted soon after and he arranged for his players to apologize to the rival team.
On Saturday, Atlee was disqualified and Kirkland replaced them in the championship.
Little League spokesperson Kevin Foundation confirmed the disqualification, saying the team was in “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.”
Jamie Batten, president of Atlee Little League, released a statement on the incident:
“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.”