One moment during a televised game on Sunday has gone viral. A group of teammates shoved cotton into the afro of a Black teammate. Their hands seemingly violated his hair and personal space–meanwhile, he sat unsmilingly. But, according to a statement by Little League officials, there was “no ill-intent” by the players, and they’ve spoken to the child’s parents and coaches to confirm.
Our team has arrived at Williamsport! They are ready to do battle! Let’s go Davenport Southeast! We are team Iowa! pic.twitter.com/wPgny2oeVv
— Iowa District 2 Little League (@iowadistrict2) August 14, 2022
Per TMZ, the scene unfolded in the eighth inning of a baseball game in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Four teammates from a Davenport, Iowa team, all white-appearing, ripped cotton from the insides of giveaway toys. Then, they shoved the balls into their teammate’s hair, covering his entire crown. Meanwhile, the child sat still, with no expression except looking down and around a few times. One of the children even shaped the cotton on his teammate’s hair. The sports commentators seemed to overlook the scene with comments like, “when in Rome.”
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 22, 2022
Little League Releases A Statement Denying Ill Intent
But the Little League said the players meant no harm, and the child’s mother agreed with their judgment. Here’s what their statement said:
“After speaking with the team, as well as reviewing photos, multiple players on the Midwest region team were taking part in this while enjoying the game. As only one player appeared on the broadcast, Little League International understands that the actions shown could be perceived as racially insensitive. We have spoken with the player’s mother and the coaches, who have assured us that there was no ill-intent behind the action shown during the broadcast,” the League said.
Team To Retake Field On Tuesday; Social Media Outraged By Video
The Davenport team plans to retake the field on Tuesday. But the video is causing a stir on social media, with some people demanding the players face consequences for playing with cotton in their Black teammate’s hair.
This looks like a safe sport violation to me and no, commentator, this isn’t little leaguers being little leaguers. Is the @LittleLeague going to stand for this? If the Little League is a member of Safe Sport, this needs to be reported. Look at this child’s face. https://t.co/s7j6YZ5jFC
— Debbie Anderson (@gym_deb) August 23, 2022
#littleleagueworldseries idk the team but why @LittleLeague felt it was appropriate to bully that Black boy by allowing cotton to be placed in his hair by his white teammates is beyond disgusting! Look at that child’s face! Sports should be to teach teamwork not humiliation!
— BestIsYetToCome (@HMR812) August 23, 2022
— lst King (@ThaKing922) August 23, 2022
The world championships for little league really thought it was cute to air a bunch of white boys laughing and stuffing a black boys hair with cotton was funny to air? This country hasn’t grown much in over 50+ years
— 🔮 𝕭𝖗𝖚𝖏𝖎𝖙𝖆 🦇 (@ohthatashleyy) August 23, 2022
Who’s at fault? The White boys sticking the cotton-balls on his head? Or The Black Child sitting there letting them do that to him? I’m calling this a parenting problem! My Black son knows he better NEVER allow this fk’ery to happen! Pride & self respect is everything! https://t.co/u1gW051iFS
— Aletha (@CampbellAJ70) August 23, 2022
When cotton is being placed in a black boys hair for the amusement of white boys….yes it’s definitely about race. That’s not just good old fun. Consent is a two way street. Even if he was placing it his own hair doesn’t give them the right to escalate it. The boy wasn’t smiling.
— Voice of Reason (@Solar_Conscious) August 23, 2022