Here's a story you don't see every day.
A softball team from Atlee, Virgina, was removed from the championship game of the Junior League World Series -- an international tournament for girls aged 12-15 -- after posting an image to Snapchat of various players flipping the bird.
After the game, six Atlee players posed for a now-infamous Snapchat photo in the dugout: Five of the six had their middle fingers extended, and the caption made clear the gesture was intended for Kirkland's players. In an interview with RVASports, one of Atlee's three coaches, Chris Mardigian, said the team had been targeted by "harassment" from Kirkland's players.
Here's a blurred look at the photo in question:
As you might suspect, the decision to remove Atlee from the championship game hours before it began has generated controversy.
There's no inherent right or wrong way to punish young athletes for these sorts of misgivings. At the same time, it's hard to get too worked up over this -- yes, you would prefer better sportsmanship; but no, it doesn't mean the girls involved are bad people. From a certain perspective, punishing an entire team for the relatively minor indiscretions of a few seems like a bit much.
Atlee's team, by the way, had reportedly outscored its opponents by a 29-1 margin over the course of the tournament. Their replacement in the championship game, Kirkland, lost to Ohio by a 7-1 score.