Chris Jane, the vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association who notified Little League International in October that the Jackie Robinson West Little League team, an all-black team from Chicago that won the U.S. championship, had illegally used players from outside the team’s geographic boundaries, told DNAinfo Chicago that he has received death threats since the team was stripped of its title.
Jane, who is white, had initiated action after his team lost 43-2 to Jackie Robinson in four innings, emailing Little League International that the Jackie Robinson West team had “manipulating, bending and blatantly breaking the rules for the sole purpose of winning at all costs.”
Now that the team has been penalized, Janes claimed there has been an uproar: “We got about 50 messages. I only listened to a few. Some were gibberish … saying things like, ‘You’re an a–hole.’ A couple said, ‘You deserve to die.’ I’m not really concerned. People have been leaving s—ty emails and voicemails.” He admitted that an Evergreen Park police car had been guarding his house.
As a result of the Chicago team cheating, Illinois District 4 administrator Michael Kelly was fired, and the team’s coach, Darold Butler, was suspended. The Jackie Robinson team had been feted in Chicago with a parade which the White Sox and Cubs attended, and was even invited to the White House by President Obama.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded to the news of the punishment of the Jackie Robinson team by stating, “The president is proud of the way that they represented their city and the way they represented the country. The fact is, you know, some dirty dealing by some adults doesn’t take anything away from the accomplishments of those young men.”
There has been no comment from the White House on the death threats to Jane.