An undefeated youth football team from Maryland won’t be going to the playoffs despite being damn near unbeatable because the executive branch of its youth football league has decided to sideline the predominately black team without warning.
Marquita Melvin, the president of the Reisterstown Mustangs, thinks she has a pretty good reason why, in Trump’s America, her team, which doesn’t look like any other team in the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer league (CCYFCL), has been banned.
“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,” Melvin told Fox 45 News.
“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,” says Melvin. “When you don’t give us a reason, the only thing it has to do with is the makeup of our organization, because our organization is predominantly black, from top to bottom.”
Melvin says that throughout the season her kids were taunted with racial slurs and adds that the CCYFCL did little to stop it. Fox 45 requested an interview; instead, the league issued 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.
The CCYFCL elected Executive Board (President, VPs, Secretary, and Treasurer) per the by-laws did not have a vote in the decision other than to break a tie (which was not needed). The vote count from member programs was unanimous as probationary programs have no vote re: disciplinary action. However, representatives from the CCYFCL and the Reisterstown Mustangs have been working in conjunction with Reisterstown Parks & Recreation to come to a resolution together that is in the best interest of all parties involved.
Melvin claims that her team had never been in trouble and that they only violated one infraction.
“There’s 13 rules, memos, and only one pertains to us, and it is a late hit,” she told the news station. “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. 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.”
The sad part is that the Reisterstown Mustangs just want to play. The parents are arguing only for the youth team to be reinstated to finish out the year and then the CCYFCL can have their funky football league back.