Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West little league team is fighting back after their title was stripped last year. The team announced a lawsuit against the sport’s governing body, accusing it of improperly stripping the young athletes of the national title that made them hometown heroes and nationally known and refusing to provide the information used to make the stunning decision.
The team’s attorney, Victor Henderson, stated in a news conference that he believed some of what Little League International claimed about players not living within the boundaries, but said the team was singled out because they’re black.
“Do I think race is at play? Yes, I do think that it’s at play at some level,” said Henderson. “Do I think that’s the only reason? No, I do not.”
Jackie Robinson West received praises and accolades when it won the national crown at the Little League World Series. The team was even honored by President Barack Obama.
Henderson, who was hired by Jackie Robinson West to conduct an investigation, said his efforts have been stonewalled by Little League International.
“I can’t tell you if Little League International looked at all the paperwork and all the paperwork of other teams … because they haven’t talked to me,” he said. “We contacted Little League and said if there’s information on these children, on these parents, you’ve received, please share it with us. The answer was no.”