Little League softball team disqualified because of naughty social media photo; did punishment fit crime?

A social media photo and hurt feelings led to the hard work of a kids softball team being wiped out.

Little League officials disqualified the Atlee Little League’s Junior softball after the kids, aged 12 – 14-years-old, shared a photo of themselves giving the finger, directed at the host team, Kirkland, Washington, on Snapchat, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

The announcement came on Saturday, mere hours before the team was set to play in the championship game to be broadcast on ESPN2.

“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,” Little League said in a statement.

Atlee defeated Kirkland in the semi-finals, but was replaced by them in the championship game because of the photo.

“We are deeply disappointed this social media post did not reflect the core values of Little League International or Atlee Little League,” Jamie Batten, the president of Atlee Little League, said in a statement on Saturday. “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,” he wrote.

Atlee’s manager, Scott Currie, said he had the post deleted immediately after he was made aware of it, and had his team apologize, but said he disagrees with the league’s decision.

It’s a travesty for these girls,” Currie told the Times-Dispatch on Saturday. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”

Opinions varied on social media.

Some agreed with the manager.

Some thought the punishment was deserved.

And some made the stretch to blame sexism.

What do you think? Was the punishment appropriate or too severe?

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