The parents of Jackie Robinson West have sued Stephen A. Smith, a radio personality, and Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) for damaging their reputation.
Jackie Robinson West is a little league baseball team in Chicago majorly made up of black players. The law suit happened after Smith allegedly insinuated, Danold Butler, former Jackie Robinson West coach, fudged documents saying some members of the team were not qualified to participate in the Little League Series.
After the season, eyebrows started being raised from the many claims of malpractice brought to the table. They varied from accusations of the team playing impostors from outside, to the club doctoring district lines. The allegations forced Little League to recall Jackie Robinson West wins and their US title.
The parents are not about to relent as they as they promise to go after Little League International and officials as well.According to the parents of Jackie Robinson West, Butler actually presented the required papers to the Little League International decided to keep it a secret in order to ride on the team’s success or just chose to ignore and overlook the boundary issues.
Strangely, the officials of Little League informed the league’s president, Bill Havey, of the clubs malpractices after its season, the findings not withstanding. The team was also allowed to visit Statehouse and travel to San Francisco despite the accusations.Chris Janes, vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association, blew the whistle, pointing out that majority of Jackie Robinson West players were from the suburbs, which was against the rules and had suggested that the title be taken from the team.The Little League did not act on Jane’s complaint as it termed it unmerited at that time.
Journalist Mark Konkol, however delved into investigating the matter forcing Little League to succumb to pressure and take action.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.
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