On Friday, the Atlee junior league softball team from Virginia won a 1-0 nailbiter to advance to the Junior League World Series in Kirkland, Washington.
But before they could take the field to compete for the championship on Saturday, Atlee was bounced from the tournament after officials discovered an "obscene" Snapchat sent after their semi-final win.
Obscene is a little strong, but that's the word that many are throwing around about this picture of a few teenage girls flipping the bird.
The problem wasn't just the middle fingers—it was also the massage. The words "watch out host" appear to be directly targeted to the Kirkland team that Atlee had just beaten when this picture was taken.
That means the photo wasn't just in poor taste, it was an example of poor sportsmanship. At least, that's what Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain said in explaining why the team was booted.
“After discovering a recent inappropriate social media post involving members of Atlee Little League’s Junior League Softball tournament team, the Little League® International Tournament Committee has removed the Southeast Region from the 2017 Junior League Softball World Series for violation of Little League’s policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct, inappropriate use of social media, and the high standard that Little League International holds for all its participants.”
After Atlee's disqualification, Kirkland was allowed to take its spot in the championship game. That did not sit well with Atlee team manager Scott Curry.
"All that these girls had worked for all summer long had just been taken away because one little lapse in judgement,” he told Virginia's WRIC. “I do think [the punishment] was harsh. They didn’t take a whole lot of time to investigate to see what else happened.”
It's not clear what Curry is suggesting be investigated. It's pretty clear that the Atlee team was saying "fuck you" to the Kirkland team. Not the height of sportsmanship, but hardly grounds for disqualification, especially since the picture included fewer than half of the Atlee team.
If there is any silver-lining here, it's that after taking Atlee's place in the championship, Kirkland got throttled 7-1. Fuck you, indeed.