JRW Supporters Suggest Decision To Take Title Racially Motivated

(CBS) — There are accusations that racism was behind the decision by Little League International to strip the Jackie Robinson West team of the national title over cheating by the adults who run the team.

“We know that we’re champions, our parents know that we’re champions and the team’s parents know we’re champions and Chicago knows we’re champions,” said JRW catcher Brandon Green.

Green said the players did nothing wrong as he stood with his mother, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Fr. Michael Pfleger at the headquarters of Rainbow Push.

“It is amazing to me that whenever African-Americans exceed the expectations, that there is always going to be fault,” Venisa Green said.

Venisa Green said Little League officals were bullied into taking away JRW’s championship.

“Little League says that they teach character and they teach courage, well this isn’t an act of courage and it sure isn’t an act of character,” she said.

Fr. Michael Pfleger called the decision racist.

“You need to reverse your decision and you need to do it now,” Fr. Pfleger said.

Rev. Jesse Jackson also suggested race was behind the decision.

“This is persecution,” Jackson said. “This is not right, it is unnecessary and it is not fair.”

He said the adults should be punished but not the kids.

Everyone at Rainbow Push Headquarters said there were other, more fair options.

Several players and their parents met Wednesday night in Morgan Park. CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports it was bitter cold as they arrived and few wanted to talk after getting the painful news from the national Little League bosses.

One of the team members did talk about his pain, saying he feels as if a lot of people are “trying to take us down.” He is refusing to let that happen.

“We won the game 7-5 with a double play, there is nothing else I can say,” said Marquise Jackson.

He said he was going to savor a plaque he won for the rest of his life.

Rev. Jackson will stage a rally for JRW on Saturday.

JRW supporters are requesting a face-to-face meeting with Little League officials.

Coach Darold Butler didn’t show up at Wednesday’s news conference. He, and league officials, know more than anyone about whether rules were bent, or broken.

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