The Jackie Robinson West Little League team has officially been stripped of its title as World Champions after their feel good story turned sour earlier this week.
The small baseball players from of Chicago stole hearts around the globe as they took the title over the summer. But now allegations that the team cheated has not only caused Little League International to take away their trophy, but sparked claims that they are victims of racism. Officials got in hot water after they were aware that teammates who played in the epic game did not live within the residential boundaries. They are accused of trying to create an all star team. They also allegedly tried to hide it.
But some say the trophy should not be taken away as it's not the little ones' fault the adults took those actions.
Carl Thomas, a Chicago resident who doesn't live too far from the Far South Side park where the team plays, said the whole incident is an outrage.
"I don't care what nobody says, those boys played their hearts out and deserved everything they earned. This is dirty. These kids don't deserve this hurt (and) disappointment. If the adults did something wrong, don't blame the boys."
Still, Chris Janes, who serves as vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association said that Little League International made the right move. Jackie Robinson West beat one of his teams 43-2 in the last season. Janes said he noticed that many people who did not live in the area represented the team.
"The more success they got, the more publicity, the more people out there from south suburbs were laying claims to these kids. There are very specific rules out there, and the expectation is that we are all following and playing by the same rules."
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