Football league accused of racism after Reisterstown team 'sidelined'
REISTERSTOWN, Md. (WBFF) - The championships for the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer league have not even kicked off and six teams with the Reisterstown Mustangs have been "sidelined."
The President of the Reisterstown Mustangs, Marquita Melvin, alleges racism.
Melvin said: “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. 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. When you don’t give us a reason, the only think it has to do with the makeup of our organization, because our organization is predominantly black, from top to bottom. “
Melvin also says the children were called racial slurs while playing on the field.
FOX45 requested an interview with the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer League. Instead, they gave us this 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."
It continued: "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 argues that her team's conduct has not been trouble.
She said: “There’s 13 rules, memos, and only one pertains to us, and it is a late hit. 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."