There is no place for racism, hate, and violence in this world and that certainly includes on Little League® fields in every community.
Millions have come together in solidarity to show that Black Lives Matter and that we must work together to end racism. Little League International stands with them.
Read the letter from Hugh E. Tanner, Little League International Board of Directors Chairman, to district and league volunteers on racism sent on June 3, 2020.
Little League International believes in the power of youth baseball and softball to build stronger individuals and communities. We cannot live this mission by staying silent.
The children in our program are at a most impressionable stage of their lives. The lessons taught by parents, guardians, caretakers, coaches, and volunteers on Little League fields need to go beyond wins and losses or strikeouts and errors. Our children become what we teach them to be. They learn from us. None are born to hate. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to have the meaningful and important conversations about what it means to respect others and that there is no place in the world for hate.
There have been many great resources developed to help parents, caregivers, coaches, and volunteers how to have those conversations with their children about race and creating a respectful team dynamic.
Some helpful resources include:
- The Positive Coaching Alliance: 7 Ways Coaches Can Create An Inclusive Environment
- National Museum of African American History & Culture: Talking About Race
- Black Lives Matter: Resources
- Anti-Defamation League: Talking to Young Children about Bias and Prejudice
- University of Pittsburgh Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education: Parent Resources
- CNN and Sesame Street: Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, a town hall for kids and families
- Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE): How We Educate
Little League is and will always be a place where all races, genders, backgrounds, and ethnicities come together and are welcomed to play ball and grow together. We are one team, one Little League. We expect all our teams and volunteers to demonstrate the utmost level of sportsmanship. At the core of sportsmanship is respect, and showing that respect, regardless of what team you play for, the community you call home, or the color of your skin.
We believe the power of community is what will help us come together and that your league will be a safe, positive place to gather and promote a hate-free culture.
We are asking every Little League program to make a renewed commitment to make our communities a better place for all and show the children we serve that there is no tolerance for hate. Remember, they learn from us.