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WASHINGTON — A Virginia softball team was disqualified just hours before a national championship game because of a Snapchat post.
The Atlee Little League softball team — which is based out of Hanover County outside Richmond — had won a heated Junior League World Series semifinal game against host Kirkland, Washington, by a 1-0 score.
In that game, a Kirkland player and coach were each ejected after a base runner was caught stealing signs.
After the game, six Atlee players posed for a picture together — each raising a middle finger and with the caption “watch out host” — and posted it on Snapchat.
When the team manager found out about the post — which was clearly directed toward the Kirkland players — it was taken down, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The manager was going to have those players apologize directly to the team.
Instead, national Little League officials disqualified the Atlee squad just hours before the championship, saying the picture violated the organizations policy on unsportsmanlike conduct. Kirkland was permitted to continue in Atlee’s place. It ended up losing the championship game Saturday to a team from Poland, Ohio.
Team manager Scott Currie told the paper that he disagreed with the decision, saying, “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”
Atlee Little League president Jamie Batten said the his organization is “deeply disappointed this social media post did not reflect the core values of Little League International or Atlee Little League.”
Batten added that he expects the national organization will fully investigate what happened and that his organization will comply.
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