Free-Floating Hostility

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Small Town is Out for Blood

In the past 10 days our town has been rocked by a cheating scandal in its Little League program. A coach and parent decided to bring an over-age kid to play in a tournament over Thanksgiving. The team won the event and had to forfeit for obvious reasons. This would be bad enough. But adding to the scandal is that one of the team parents submitted a tournament report for our newspaper's youth page, unsurprisingly forgetting to mention (because he says he didn't know) that the team used an illegal player. The parent in question is a very visible writer at another newspaper in the region, which has some people in town attacking his credibility as a reporter and even approaching his bosses about this. All of which is to say that this has spun a little bit out of control.

The coaches and parents who cheated are the ones who committed the crime here, not necessarily this parent. Yet people are saying that this particular parent should have a higher calling, as though journalism somehow attracts people who are morally pure. This proves that despite a pervasive belief that "demystifying" newsrooms (talking more about how we do our jobs so people will understand that we're not actually Democrats) people have still ended up with the wrong idea. Why should anyone ever expect a parent to publicly implicate his or her kid's team in anything? Actively covering it up is one thing, but this is something else entirely.

This is a town where everything tends to grow overheated. A series of city meetings have ended with people being shouted down or honest-to-goodness shoving matches. I hope that in the coming week this will calm down. Lies by omission are still lies, but I don't happen to believe this comes anywhere close to a fireable offense.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at March 12, 2006 7:14 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • An overage kid playing in a lower age bracket is like someone feigning disability to get into the Special Olympics.

    On the other hand, what about Brown University cheating to win the Ivy football title.

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