By The Book

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/08/05/six-middle-fingers-on-snapchat-lead-to-disqualification-of-junior-league-softball-team/?utm_term=.0baecbb4baa1

The regulars here know I talk a ton about teens on social media and my wariness of the social media age in general. The above example is a lesson in consequences that is now being lost in translation for some members of society. The debate here is actually about the stance Little League took in disqualifying the offending team and promoting their opponents to the final instead.

Let’s be honest here…kids do stuff like this all the time. I can remember playing sports casually in middle and high school and the trash talking was intense. We got on teams and said lots of stuff to our opponents that would send a Catholic priest to their own confessional. I can even remember being in a situation where the captain of the team lied to me about playing time and kept me on the bench and trash talked to others how he had no plans to play me. So, sports can be cruel in the heat of the moment. Competition pushes people and sometimes, raw negative emotions surface.

Where social media comes in was how the girls recorded and one then uploaded the footage on Snapchat. Some people are upset that the entire team got suspended, as lots of money and effort was incurred to get the girls to the tournament. Well, it doesn’t bother me as I felt the right call was made. The hosts of the tournament, Little League, have listed clearly in their conduct policy about not being disrespectful to other teams, especially on social media. People have advocated suspending the girls involved in the incident only. In theory that makes sense, but we’ve always seen it in real life where if one person fails the team, the whole team faces the consequences.

To me, it isn’t so much about the social media aspect here, as that just immortalizes the mistake. What didn’t sit well for me was people trying to justify not having the girls face the consequences of their actions. It’s a teachable moment as to while there are certain behaviors that may happen in sports that cross the line in the heat of the moment, it doesn’t make them acceptable. I don’t understand how some people are able to absolve the girls involved because of their age and yet slander professional or college student athletes who make headlines for knucklheaded mistakes in the news.

It’s just another example of the fascinating double standard and perception contemporary society has with regards to children. We also validate raw emotion in  sports, equating that expression to the presence of  passion. It almost feels like in some ways, as a  society we are now more focused on expressing emotions as a way of handling situations without  facing consequences or justifying negative behaviors and poor choices. I suppose that I was always taught, especially with sports, the expression of emotion does not provide an opportunity to denegrate team members or opponents. 

Rhe book for a reason and handling incorrect behavior with tangible consequences is the best way in this case to get the point across.

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