Undefeated youth football team barred from championship out of White fear
When a child plays on a winning team and makes the championships, it is normally a time of pride and celebration. But for the undefeated Reisterstown Mustangs, it has turned to bitter disappointment and outrage after a decision to bar the youth football team from the playoffs.
Parents, coaches and fans took to social media to let the world know how the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer League in Maryland kicked the team out of the league without warning on the eve of the championships.
The Raw Story reports that the league cited vague “behavioral concerns” and that children would “risk the safety” of the majority White teams because “emotions tend to run high during playoffs.”
That was an outrageous statement to team president Marquita Melvin. “I believe it is the racial makeup of our program because we don’t look like other programs in the league and we are treated differently,” she said. “When you don’t give us a reason, the only thing it has to do with the makeup of our organization because our organization is predominantly Black, from top to bottom.
Melvin received the following response from the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer League:
“The Reisterstown program was admitted to the league this year on a probationary basis with a decision regarding their ongoing status to be made by the members at the conclusion of the season. Per the league’s by-laws, new organizations can be barred from further participation at the discretion of the Board of Directors and this action can be taken at any time. There have been several behavioral concerns involving this program during the season and tension related to how these occurrences were handled has been rising. Emotions tend to run high during playoffs, therefore, the league elected not to risk the safety of the participants and in an attempt to promote a safe conclusion to the season.”
But. according to Melvin, the team only received one infraction over a late hit in the game. Other predominantly White teams have had on-field fights and even had coaches removed from the game by officials.
She stated, “They have coaches thrown out of games, fighting. Clearly, there is a bias against us, there is a bias against people who look like us, and that’s clearly been taken out on our children. If you’re going to discriminate against them, kick them out, not let them have their fair shake, you’re not living up to what you say your true purpose is.”
The team posted the following to its official Facebook page:
“Parents and the team leadership intend to fight the actions of the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer League and are pleading with the public to become involved.”