Davenport Southeast Little League says viral video not ‘racially motivated’

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 5:24 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Davenport Southeast Little League has released a statement, following a clip during the broadcast of Sunday’s Red Sox vs. Orioles that went viral.

The clip shows team members of the Davenport team, putting stuffing from stuffed animals into the hair of a fellow black team member.

People across the country, including celebrities, criticized the clip, calling the incident racially motivated.

The Davenport team has since released a statement, hoping to clear up what happened.

“During the recent broadcast of the MLB Little League Classic, ESPN showed several kids from our team putting stuffing (from a stuffed animal given away at the game) on our second baseman Jeremiah Grise’s head. The kids were doing this in an attempt to emulate the white mohawk of the Hawaii team’s star player, who they think is a great baseball player with a very cool hairstyle. Unfortunately, the cameras did not show the boys putting stuffing on the heads of multiple players and of Jeremiah laughing and loving his new “look”. We have also posted a picture and video showing this.

There was absolutely no ill-intent or racial motivations, as everyone on the team, including Jeremiah, was simply trying to emulate a fellow player they look up to. We are in no way trying to minimize the racial insensitivity of the boys’ actions and apologize for any harm this video has caused. We have spoken to the boys to help educate them on why it was inappropriate – which none of them had realized or understood at the time. They understand it now, providing them a life lesson they will carry forward.

The Little League World Series has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our boys and we hope everyone’s focus can return to their great play, teamwork and sportsmanship on the field. We ask everyone, including the media and online provocateurs, to please let these 12-year-olds be 12-year-olds.

We hope this statement has provided the additional context necessary to understand the whole story. We at Davenport Southeast strive to welcome kids of all races and backgrounds and take pride in the diversity of our organization. Go Davenport Southeast Little League!”

Meanwhile, the Davenport Southeast Little League team was eliminated from the Little League World Series Tuesday night, playing the team from Pearland, Texas, losing 0-4.

This was the first time the team has been to the LLWS since 2005.