Updated: Apr 14
If you haven't heard or seen the news, earlier this month the Los Angeles JR Kings U14 team was caught on a 9 second video clip with a player performing the "Nazi Salute" and other players in the background making derogatory and hateful statements about Jews. The video allegedly took place on March 9th and once discovered the program suspended the entire team until they did an investigation on this incident.
The JR Kings finally dropped the hammer and here's what the consequences for their actions are according to KABC:
"They (the players) must undergo eight hours of social media training, visit the Museum of Tolerance, perform eight hours of community service through the museum and meet with a rabbi, according to the Los Angeles Times."
The players are still all suspended and will continue until the Safesport investigation is complete.
Truth be told, I think this was a pretty fair and proper punishment for these 14 year old players. Kudos to the program for stepping in immediately and coming up with a punishment that not only isn't your typical "clean the rink or locker rooms for a month" type discipline that gets thrown around and instead being creative with the entire process. Having to visit the Museum of Tolerance and perform their community service through the museum makes their actions hit closer to home. Having them meet with a Rabbi even pushes the punishment further and sets the tone and lets them really learn what their actions meant.
If you noticed, I didn't even mention the 8 hours of social media training, which to be perfectly honest, I think schools let alone youth sports programs should be instituting because of how much these kids (and adults) don't realize can happen via these platforms. As shown in an TJHP article from earlier this month about a Breezy Point junior hockey player that had made questionable tweets. I know numerous rinks have a "no cell phone" policy in their locker rooms, but that doesn't deter anything and kids don't understand the ramifications that these platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc all can have on their lives now, but in the future.
So good for the JR Kings program for stepping up and delivering a fair and just punishment and not just sweeping the issue under the rug like some programs would.