February 12, 2015
CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried personally to convince the president and CEO of Little League International to rescind the decision to strip the Jackie Robinson West team of its national championship.
Little League International confirmed that the mayor made the call Wednesday afternoon to Stephen D. Keener, as first reported in the Chicago Sun-Times. The organization did not detail what Emanuel said but the mayor's office said he told Keener that the decision announced earlier in the day has turned the young players into "perpetrators when they are victims."
The mayor's office says Emanuel suggested alternative punishments to Keener, such as forbidding the team from playing for a certain amount of time. But Little League International says Keener informed the mayor that the organization's decision was final.