WASHINGTON—White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama remains “proud” of the accomplishments of Chicago’s 2014 U.S. champion Jackie Robinson West little league baseball team, stripped of its titles on Wednesday for the use of ringers.
Last Nov. 6, Obama and first lady Michelle welcomed the boys from the South Side Chicago team and some of their coaches to the Oval Office to celebrate their big championship season.
Asked about the team being stripped of its titles, Earnest said, “The president invited the Jackie Robinson West team to the White House to celebrate the accomplishments of those young men and the performance that they, the strong performance they delivered on a pretty large stage for 12-year olds.
Asked about the team being stripped of its titles, Earnest said, “The president invited Jackie Robinson West Little League team to the White House to celebrate the accomplishment of those young men and the performance that they — you know, the strong performance that they delivered on a pretty large stage for a 12-year- old. 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.”
I asked Earnest if there was any message to the boys.
Ernest replied, ” I think what the president would say is that — that, again, the actions of those adults doesn’t in any way take away — does not in any way take away from the accomplishments of those young men who performed brilliant on the baseball diamond on a pretty large stage.
“And their accomplishment is the product of years of — of commitment and practice and some skill, and they should be proud of what they have accomplished, and there’s nothing that those — that those adults, who may not have done the right thing, could do to take away from those accomplishments.
“And the president, for that reason, was pleased to have the opportunity to have met them last fall. And the president, I think, in the message that he delivered to them personally, is hopeful that they will continue to take that sense of purpose and that determination and that patience and apply it to success in other elements of their lives.”