The Junior League softball team from the Atlee area near Richmond, Virginia, has been disqualified from the 2017 Junior League World Series championship game after an inappropriate photo was discovered on Snapchat.
Per Michael Phillips and Paul Woody of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, six members of the Atlee Junior League team were seen in a picture posted to the social media site giving the middle finger with a caption that "made it clear the gesture was intended for the Kirkland team" Atlee defeated in the semifinal on Friday.
Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain issued a statement to Phillips and Woody about the situation:
“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.”
“It’s a travesty for these girls,” Atlee manager Scott Currie told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime."
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Kirkland had a player and coach ejected after Friday's game for "stealing signals from the Atlee team while on second base and relaying them to the batter."
As a result of Atlee's disqualification, the Kirkland team that lost in the semifinal 1-0 was inserted into the championship game.