Little League World Series officials say there was ‘no bad intentions’ after team stuck ‘cotton’ over black player’s head

Little League World Series officials say there was no ‘bad intention’ after a video of players taping cotton-like material on a black teammate’s head sparked a backlash in line.

In the videothe player, who is wearing a Midwest Region uniform, sits in a chair while his teammates pull out stuffing from toys and tape it to the youngster’s head.

The team, from Davenport, Iowa, appeared to be watching Sunday’s Little League Classic game between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox when the incident, which aired on ESPN, unfolded.

“It’s just Little Leaguers being Little Leaguers right there,” one commentator said as the camera pans to the scene.

A spokesperson for the Little League World Series said in a statement that while officials understand how the incident “could be perceived as racially insensitive”, the organization has been assured after speaking with the mother and parents. child coaches that “there was no bad intention behind the action shown during the broadcast.”

Little League Southeast Davenport then provided more details about the video and the situation. The Iowa squad said its players were given a stuffed animal and removed the stuffing “in an effort to mimic the white mohawk of the Hawaii team’s star player, who they say is a great baseball player with a very cool hairstyle”.

“Unfortunately, the cameras did not show the boys putting stuffing on the heads of several players,” nor the black player laughing and loving his new “look,” the Davenport Group said in a statement posted online, with player video.

The team had “absolutely no ill intent or racial motivation” and the kids were trying to emulate a player they admire, the Iowa group said.

“We are in no way trying to minimize the racial insensitivity of the boys’ actions and apologize for any harm caused by this video. We spoke to the boys to help them understand why it was inappropriate – which no one none of them had realized or understood at the time. They understand it now, which gives them a life lesson that they will carry on.”

The video drew heavy criticism online, with many calling it racist, while some warned it could discourage black children from wanting to play sports.

“It’s traumatic and the young man looks humiliated,” wrote one social media user. “The @ESPN announcer had the audacity to say ‘kids will be kids’. Shameful,” the user wrote, tagging the broadcaster, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment of the day. on the next day.

“Hey @MLB – you want more black kids in the game but that’s what happens when they play America’s Pastime,” said another.

The incident occurs a few days after a A black mother sued the Los Angeles Unified School District in state court for a former elementary school project that she said involved students picking cotton to learn about slavery.

In the lawsuit, Rashunda Pitts called the project, which took place in 2017, “culturally insensitive” and said her daughter had suffered extreme emotional distress as a result.

A school district spokesperson told NBC Los Angeles in October 2017 that school administrators immediately removed the cotton plant after learning of Pitts’ concerns. A district spokesperson said in an email to NBC News this month that the district generally does not comment on pending or pending litigation.

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