MECHANICSVILLE, Va. — The manager of a Little League softball team, who was disqualified from their World Series championship matchup, says he thought his girls did enough after a photo posted on Snapchat was made public.
The photo shows six members of the Atlee Little League's Junior softball team making an obscene gesture at the camera. The photo was directed at the host club from Kirkland, Washington which Atlee defeated in the semifinals.
Atlee manager, Scott Currie, said his team apologized for the offending post and he thought the controversy was over.
"At that point, we thought we had done what we needed to do," Currie told WTVR after a long flight back to Virginia. "We were under the impression that it was taken care of."
Little League officials announced the disqualification Saturday morning, just hours ahead of the championship game which was broadcast live on ESPN2.
Little League described the offending post only as "an inappropriate social media post."
The Kirkland team replaced Atlee in the championship.
"It was a shock when we found out," Currie said. "We didn't have an opportunity to defend ourselves and there was no investigation into why this happened."
Currie and his assistant coaches were called to a conference room Saturday morning, and read a statement from Little League headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, saying they had been disqualified with no opportunity for appeal.
Currie told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he felt the punishment was too harsh for the crime in this case.
"I understand they had to take some type of action. Remove me from the game and take responsibility for my players doing that," Currie said. "I just didn't think it was right to take the opportunity away from the kids for something that happened off the field."
Currie told WTVR that the team is using the incident as a teaching moment.
"Think before you act. Before you do something, make sure you think about it first and what consequences can come from it," Currie said. "These girls, they're human. They just made a mistake. It doesn't define who they are for the rest of their lives."
The team is made up of 12- to 14-year-old girls from the Atlee area near Richmond, Virginia.