JRLLeague: What do we tell our Champs?

Posted in: Roseland Heights
  • Stock
  • ctucke20
  • Respected Neighbor
  • USA
  • 417 Posts
  • Respect-O-Meter: Respected Neighbor

The Champions.

What do we Tell Our Champs???

It’s a damn shame that the Jackie Robinson Little League Baseball Team was stripped of their championship title. Shameful. Hurtful. Heartbreaking news. One of the mother’s appropriately asks, “Is this about boundaries or race?” Is this racism? Is it? We are afraid to look racism in the eye these days. After all , the President is Black and the Attorney General is Black and the top TV show is about Black people and its goes on and on. We find polite reasons and nice excuses to avoid the discussion and too often we miss the point that racism is still a reality. This is an example of racism. America too often screams to Black boys and men that they have crossed the boundaries.

Muhammad Ali Was Stripped of his Title in his Prime. . .

Muhammad-Ali 0

Muhammad Ali, The Champ.

In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title, Muhammad Ali , refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. The U.S. government declined to recognize him as a conscientious objector. He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years—losing a time of peak performance in an athlete's career. Ali's appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 1971 his conviction was overturned. The Supreme Court held that, since the appeals board gave no reason for the denial of a conscientious objector exemption to petitioner, it was impossible to determine on which of the three grounds offered in the Justice Department's letter that board had relied.[7] Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

Boundaries? ? ?

Boundaries are not new to Black America boys. It seems that the official time America introduces Black young men to race reality as they approach manhood is at about 12 years to 13 years old. We know boundaries. The Jackie Robinson West Little Team broke boundaries when they won. Jackie Robinson himself was about breaking boundaries.

The Jackie Robinson Little League Team was the toast of the town if not the country as the Black lads played their game of baseball. They had the city glued to their seats as we watched them play, as they played like seasoned players, way beyond their years. They came home to parades, parties and victory celebrations. They were declared champions. They lost to South Korea in a world championship game in Pennsylvania. It didn’t matter. They were champs, just like the team’s namesake. They were model players, model young men, demonstrating teamwork. They showed what families could do when they focus on their children from grandparents to neighbors. They crossed every line there was to cross and won. They defied the odds of poverty, poor education, and stereotypes, single parenting homes and the like. They were positive. They did what the politicians couldn’t do. They pulled us all together -- Black, White, Republicans and Democrats, North Side, West Side, South Side, churches, community groups and on and on. The team united the city.

What I like most about the Jackie Robinson Team is that it is a story of cross generations, old school style. The men in the neighborhood, the grandfathers taught their children how to play baseball. The fathers were bus drivers, train drivers, lawyers, politicians, school teachers, fathers, cousins, uncles, mothers preachers, grandfathers. I am not a sports person. But I watched the young men play ball and they were matured beyond their years, because of their grandfather’s mentoring. You could see it as they played their baseball game.

Jackie Robinson  Brooklyn Dodgers  1954

Jackie Robinson

What do we tell our Children?

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Rev Jackson 9220-b4c2-11e4-81e7-655915430d2e Rahm1

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

And now their title has been taken away from them, no fault of their own. The adults somewhere said the boundaries of where the children live were violated. The grown ups did it, not the children. The Jackie Robinson West Team victory now goes to the Las Vegas team. Really now. The Jackie Robinson Team has yet to receive a written document from the baseball authorities.

Reverend Jesse Jackson makes a great point regarding African American lifestyles. Children might live with divorced parents in both homes and might live with grandparents. Grandparents might take the children to practice when parents have to work. We have witnessed the tear down of public housing and the closing of schools. The children had to live in the boundaries of home and/or school. One young baseball player was homeless, he was told concentrate on your game. He did. He won.

Chris Janes - Was he just a jealous coach?

Chris Janes

Chris Janes, the Whistleblower
The punishment for the children is far too harsh and unfair. Chris Janes, in a telephone interview from Evergreen Park, said as the World Series began to wind down in South Williamsport in August he saw social media reports that players from Chicago suburbs were on the Robinson team.
The Jackie Robinson players had played on one of three closely-related travel teams, he said. One player lived approximately 20 miles outside the Robinson league approved boundaries.
Janes made his concerns known to Little League headquarters, but it was not until last week that the organization vacated the Robinson league victories, including the U.S. championship, for using illegal players. The announcement stated a falsified boundary map was used to make it appear the players all were eligible. Janes, whose Little League team lost to the Jackie Robinson squad 43-2 in the Illinois sectionals, said he was not surprised by the decision but added it was not a good feeling, either. "I feel it was appropriate," he said.
The whistleblower sounds is a sore looser. He tried to recruit the players to him team. The kids stayed with the Jackie Robinson Little League Team . It took three tries for Janes case to materialize. He couldn’t be racist because he is married to a Black woman and has biracial children???????

The violation that was uncovered is that “team officials had changed the boundaries that determine where players must live.” The coach who showed the team how to play ball has been suspended. He, the community hero, volunteered his own personal time, even to the point of threatening his employment for the win of the children.

Enters Victor Henderson the Lawyer. . .

Henderson-Victor-P 1525-email

Enters, defense attorney, Victor Henderson. He will defend the children. He will question the Little League rules. He will look at the fairness and/or the discrimination that might exist in this situation. He will challenge the Little League rules.

The title strip is not fair to the children. The children won, they played ball and they won. They played by the rules and they won and should not be punished. What message do we send to youth as we take away their honest victory? We tell young black boys they loose even when they win. We tell young Black boys their victory is spoiled. We tell young Black boys that they are not champions, even in their victory. We say loud and clear that Black boys are losers.

Maybe the boundaries were crossed, meaning that the children didn’t live in a certain district. But at any cost the children played ball and should not be punished for their accomplishments and achievements.

The Jackie Robinson Little Leaguers remain champions and they have learned racism 101. They have learned the real lesson of living in America as a Black young man. Hopefully, our community at large will stand up to teach them how to be gracious winners, no matter what.

What do we tell our children? Play ball boys. Play ball.

Jackie Robinson Little Leaguers hoto31-624x468
facebook twitter
Advertise Here!

Promote Your Business or Product for $10/mo


For just $10/mo you can promote your business or product directly to nearby residents. Buy 12 months and save 50%!