According to the Chicago Sun-Times, city Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a last ditch plea to Little League International to allow Jackie Robinson West to retain their national championship. His idea for a form a punishment is laughable. He wanted these players to be allowed to keep their title, yet punish potential teams from the JRW territory in the future, (who may have a legitimate chance to compete in the tournament with legitimate players) suffer by not letting them play.
The Mayor had a ten-minute phone conversation with the CEO of Little League. Stephen Keener is sticking by his decision.
I find it disgusting that politics has crept into this situation. Rules are rules. It was determined that JRW organizers and coaches broke those rules. I completely agree with the CEO’s decision to strip them of their championship.
Is this sad for the kids? Sure, but there is no way they are to shoulder the blame. All they did is play the game, however, some number of those kids shouldn’t have been allowed to play. Tough life lesson to learn, but I hope it makes them better men when they get older.
Instead of lawyers and community activists and angry parents fighting for the right to keep something they don’t deserve, I just wish someone associated with that program would own up to the mistake, apologize to their players and apologize to the players from Philadelphia, South Dakota, Washington State, Rhode Island, Texas, Nashville and Las Vegas for not giving those teams a fair shot at winning a championship.
We make mistakes. We’re humans. We also know how to forgive, but when those that cheat than treat themselves as the victim, that’s when I lose my patience.