The scandal surrounding the Jackie Robinson West little league baseball team has given way to threats of legal action from the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Yahoo! Sports reports that Jackson is calling for Little League International to return the U.S. World Series championship to the 12-year-old members of the team after the team was stripped of its title. If the league doesn’t comply, Jackson stated Wednesday that he may bring a lawsuit.
The organization’s ruling Wednesday comes after months of allegations surrounding ineligible players and illegally redrawing its league boundaries resulted in Jackie Robinson West vacating its wins and the team’s coach being suspended, in addition to losing the title.
The all-black team captured the heart of the nation and support from MLB players during its run to the Little League World Series. Despite becoming U.S. champions, Jackie Robinson West ultimately lost to South Korea in the international title game. The Chicago-based team’s efforts were still rewarded as team members gained fans from all over, including the White House.
Nevertheless, the allegations, which were brought forth by Evergreen Park Little League coach and vice president Chris Janes, hounded the team. According to Yahoo, Janes threatened in a letter written months ago to Little League International to bring legal action himself if the organization didn’t look investigation his allegations. In addition to the letter, Janes spent months bringing his efforts to various media outlets in order to get Little League to re-check where exactly the Jackie Robinson West players lived.
Upon hearing what happened to the team, Jackson voiced his feelings about the situation, telling the Chicago Sun Times Wednesday that he was driven to tears by the decision.
“There’s nothing these kids have done to have their championship erased,” Jackson, who called for a “Reaffirmation of Championship” ceremony for the JRW players on Saturday morning . “I hope the Las Vegas team will have the strength of character not to accept.”
At a press conference held with Jackie Robinson West team members and Chicago pastor Michael Pfleger, who is white, Jackson made his intent known by telling Little League International to reverse its decision.
They had no problem bringing up the issue of race. Jackson asked, “Is this boundaries or race?,” Jackson asked as Pfleger said, “I definitely believe racism is a part of this.”
For his part, Janes gave his two cents Wednesday as he told reporters, “It’s tough, but the kids will be OK.”
Chatting with DNA Chicago‘s Mark Konkol, Janes revealed the extent to which his crusade against Jackie Robinson West has cost him. According to him, Little League’s decision against the team has resulted in him receiving death threats and nasty e-mails.
“We got about 50 messages,” he told DNAinfo Chicago. “I only listened to a few. Some were gibberish … saying things like ‘You’re an a——.’ A couple said, ‘You deserve to die.’”
Although he’s had opposition thrown his way in the form of “s—– emails and voicemails,” Janes added that he’s “not really concerned” about it.
After all, he does have the support of the local police.
Politicians Doing Time for Their Crime
1. Former Congressman William Jefferson1 of 21
2. Former Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers2 of 21
3. Former Ohio State Representative W. Carlton Weddington3 of 21
4. Sisters of corruption -Jane Orie, Joan Orie Melvin and Janine Orie4 of 21
5. Former Alabama State Representative James Thomas5 of 21
6. Former Mississippi state prosecutor and judge Bobby DeLaughter6 of 21
7. Former New York State Senator Shirley Huntley7 of 21
8. Former Governor of Illinois and golden boy Rod Blagojevich8 of 21
9. Former Prince George's County Council member Leslie Johnson9 of 21
10. Former Prince County Executive Jack B. Johnson10 of 21
11. Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford11 of 21
12. Former Federal District Judge Samuel B. Kent (Texas)12 of 21
13. Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin13 of 21
14. Former Trump Campaign Aide Rick Gates14 of 21
15. Former City Councilman Larry Seabrook15 of 21
16. Former New York State Senator Efrain Gonzalez16 of 21
17. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner17 of 21
18. Former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland18 of 21
19. Former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson19 of 21
20. Former D.C. Council member Marion Barry20 of 21
21. Former Trump Campaign Aide Paul Manafort21 of 21
(Photo Source: AP)