As described here, Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West Little League Baseball team was stripped of its U.S. title after Little League International found out–later than it should have— that the team’s adult leadership changed the district boundaries without permission to create what was really an all-star team. The championship, to be blunt, was won through cheating.
Since the team’s members were all African-Americans, Jesse Jackson and many of the parents immediately claimed that racism was behind the forfeit. If, however, a white team had been found to have prevailed over a black team by cheating and was allowed to keep its ill-gotten championship, Jackson would also scream racism. (This was a #11. on the Draft Ethics Alarms Race-Baiting Scale: Presumed Racism: Accusations of racism based on no other factors but the races of the individuals involved.) Jackson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel then pressured the Little League to reverse its decision, essentially allowing cheating to be 100% successful, as it often is in politics. To its credit, the organization refused to bend.
Never mind: Emanuel is a veteran of the Obama administration, and also has a large black constituency to pander to. Thus he plans on giving the team championship rings at next month’s city council meeting. Emanuel found private donors to fund championship rings shortly after the Little League World Series. Each ring has the player’s name, jersey number and the number 42, in tribute to Jackie Robinson. On the inside of each ring, the legend, “Who says cheaters never prosper?” is engraved in script.
Just kidding about that last part.
‘These young men demonstrated tremendous character both on and off the field, and Chicago will honor them as the champions they are,” Emanuel said. His statement was of a piece with White House spokesman Josh Earnest’s similarly illogical and unethical statement, “The fact is, is some dirty dealing by adults does not take anything away from the accomplishments of those young men.” The fact that they won due to cheating takes nothing away from their victory, says the White House. Yes, this is how the Administration thinks.
This is also how these young men are being taught to think, thanks to the Mayor’s cynical conduct and the message it sends. He is also telling them to remember that as they go through life, playing the race card will often get them anything they want, avoid accountability, and intimidate people out of following rules, laws, and basic principles of right and wrong.
Hmmm. Is the White House at all concerned about the other team that is now the Little League Champions, and that was robbed of its glory and achievement by the cheating Jackie Robinson West team? Was that team invited to meet the President at the White House, as the team that had to surrender its illicit title was? The answer is no, and no.
Facts: Sports Illustrated, IJR Review
14 thoughts on “Jackie Robinson West Little League Baseball Team Epilogue: Who Says “Cheaters Never Prosper”?”
Isn’t ole Rahm facing a potential loss for reelection?
I smell desperate electioneering here.
Jackie Robinson has probably quit playing baseball on the big diamond in the sky because of this.
He failed to win a second term outright and has been forced into an April 7 runoff against a candidate with a strong showing among Hispanics, in which how much of the black vote stays with him, and how much peels away, mostly due to anger over school closings, will decide things.
On the inside of each ring, the legend, “Who says cheaters never prosper?” is engraved in script.
Just kidding about that last part.
The way my browser is set up, The paragraph ended cleanly on the bottom of my screen, so for like…. 5 seconds, I was thinking… Really? Is he that dumb? Did that really happen? And now…. You owed me a keyboard.
I bet more than a few of those young ballplayers will make good money off of those rings, one way or another, one day. If only we could know how that made money next will be spent…moreover, I would like to know who Rahm’s “private donors” are, who funded the rings. Do we already know?
Of course you do!
Has anyone ever seen “Jackie Robinson Was The First Black Baseball Player, Charlie Brown”?
Jackie Robinson was selected outside of the then ordinary boundaries of major league baseball; selecting players outside of the ordinary boundaries of a Little League district is a terrible, terrible way to honor his memory! >:O
Bravo!!! Irony with panache!
“Is the White House at all concerned about the other team that is now the Little League Champions, and that was robbed of its glory and achievement by the cheating Jackie Robinson West team?”
Sounds like time for a beer summit!
I think it would be well-played if the Republican aspirants for the White House, each one of them, (1) made a stink about this cheating, (2) did speeches + photo opps with the “other team” whom the cheaters passed by to their fraudulent championship, and (3) tied the cheating and the toleration of it to what the Clintons are doing to fund their campaign machinery.
But of course, then all Republican POTUS candidates would be racists.
And only Koch brothers’ money is dirty.
Well, hey there, Chicago! While you’re at it, hows about putting rings on the fingers and shoes back on the toes of the old Sox — after all, the bribery was bankrolled by an out-of-town racketeer — and awarding the team a belated 1919 World Series ti…. ? oh, can’t do that racist thing, like, turn Black into White.
Speaking of The Windy City and its host state, I ran across this in an article about what fiscal mess Illinois is because of the public employee unions:
An Illinois governor (Adlai Stevenson) once said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness, except in the Illinois legislature, where it is next to impossible.”
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/414427/its-time-reverse-course-illinois-george-will
And of course this rings-for-losers [because they cheated] thing is just the logical conclusion of “everybody gets a trophy” in kids organized sports.
“…the logical conclusion of “everybody gets a trophy” in kids organized sports”
Or worse, in the classroom.
We’ve been teetering on the brink of that for a long time with the “star” system — (no, not Warner Bros.): the that little five-pointed gilt or silver sticker expanded from best-homework reward to anybody who turned in the assignment. And arguably, for that matter, marking on a curve.
Okay, I’ll admit to being surprised (and disturbed, thinking about it afterwards) by an acquaintance who found it necessary to distribute wrapped and ribboned gifts for all the guests at her seven-year-old’s birthday party “so they wouldn’t feel left out” when her son opened his own presents.
It’s a true slippery slope. When the concept of merit (that old enemy of affirmative action, not to say nepotism) or “specialness” (in any field) loses its power to be differentiated by recognition or reward — or blame, for that matter, there’s a negative side to this too that requires recognition — then individuality is devalued, standards are lowered, success has nothing to be measured against, and everybody-does-it can’t be said to be an alarm anymore because anyone can do it … and get away with it. It’s not just part of the race game that’s being played out off the Little League field.