March , 2019

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‘Call me what you want’ but the fight’s on

By Chinta Strausberg

Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday revealed he has received hundreds of calls and e-mails calling him an “N” lover for demanding that the Little League International Baseball and Softball Headquarters restore the Jackie Robinson West (JRW) 2014 Great Lakes Regional and US Champions trophy.

Pfleger made his remarks during his Sunday sermon. Calling what the national League’s did to the JRW team a “disgrace” and said it was “disrespectful.”

“It has been so disgraceful the way they handled these children. They never received one word in writing to this day. They have not yet been told what their accusations are. You can’t rebut what you don’t know. They never knew what they had been disqualified for….

“They never had the decency to let them know first. They told ESPN before they told the families, the coaches or the Haley family; so the children heard about it on their way to school from the radio,” Pfleger said.

Over the weekend, Pfleger joined Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. in fighting to get JRW’s title restored, but it has come with a price for Pfleger.

“I think racism is rooted in this” as evidence of the hate mail he has received. “They called me a ‘rigger.’ I’ve been called so many things in the last week I had to go to look at my ID to make sure who I was because I was called so many different names this past week,” Pfleger told his members.

“We’re fighting the governor. We’re fighting the Little League. We’re fighting everybody, but I can care less.  Call me what you want to call me because we’re going to stand up for these children.

“We refuse to allow them to go with the double standard,” he said. Pfleger said many people from across the nation told him “that no other league in the country is held to the standard that JRW is being held to in Chicago. “You are going to have equal standards, equal playing field and judge everybody equally.

“Unless you investigate every team the same way and make sure that there is nobody out there you call boundaries, don’t you treat our children that way and call our children ‘cheaters.’” No, you ain’t going to do that,” Pfleger said.

“Maybe the New England Patriots should turn back the Super Bowls since they ain’t done anything with the deflated all yet. Turn the Super Bowl back in. Maybe we should take everybody out of the Hall of Fame, and everybody who ever won a World Series, or anyone who won anything in any sports event before there were integrated sports because there were unfair boundaries of racism and prejudice that have been practiced for years before African Americans were allowed to be on the teams.

“So, everybody else should turn their awards back then because the boundaries were unfair,” Pfleger said. “We are not going to allow those double standards.

“Until you make forward the allegations, and we have a chance to respond to them, they are the national champions and we ain’t about to give up nothing.”

Father Pfleger urged people to write, e-mail, call and fax the Little League International Baseball and Softball Headquarters, 539 US Route 15 Hwy, attn.: Mr. Stephen D. Keener, P.O. Box 3485, Williamsport, PA 17701-0485 or call: (570) 326.1921 or fax: (570) 326.1074. When posting on social media, please use the following hashtag: #JRWChamps.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

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