A predominantly Black youth football team in Maryland will no longer be allowed to play in playoffs, and has actually been kicked out of its league due to…well, racism, according to the president of the team.
According to Fox Baltimore,
the championships for the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer league haven’t even started, but six teams with the Reisterstown Mustangs have been blacklisted.
“There was an e-mail sent to us at 9 p.m. [Saturday] saying we were no longer a part of the Carroll County Football League, and our children were not eligible to participate in post-season activities such as playoffs,” Reisterstown Mustangs President Marquita Melvin told the news station. “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. When you don’t give us a reason, the only think it has to do with the makeup of our organization, because our organization is predominantly Black, from top to bottom.”
Melvin claimed that the kids were also called racial slurs while they were playing.
But to hear Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer League, there were “behavioral concerns” that prompted the league’s decision.
They told Fox Baltimore
in a statement:
The CCYFCL is a youth football league comprised of teams from multiple counties. While those counties’ Dept. of Recreation and Parks sponsors recreation councils and their activities which have teams in this league, the Dept. of Recreation and Parks does not operate or sponsor the CCYFCL as a whole and the league is governed by its members and by-laws
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 leagues 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, the league’s programs voted to remove the Reisterstown program at the end of the regular season and prior to the playoffs.
However, Melvin said that her team has not been the issue, doubling down on her claims, pointing out that other teams have had their coaches thrown out of games for fighting.
“There’s 13 rules, memos, and only one pertains to us, and it is a late hit. 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,” she said. “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.”
Oh, and by all reports, the Mustangs have been undefeated. So if it’s not racism, then maybe it could be that someone’s daddy/mommy is having a hard time swallowing down that hater-ade. Or maybe it’s both, because you know, they often hate us because they ain’t us.