A baseball player from Bloomsburg University was dismissed from his team last weekend after posting an offensive tweet about teenaged Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis.
The player, Joey Casselberry, used a derogatory term in reference to the 13-year-old female baseball player, who garnered fame after being asked to be in a biopic on the Disney Channel. The backlash gained national attention, resulting in Bloomsburg Athletic Department’s Twitter account announcing Casselberry’s dismissal from the team, and their embarrassment of their association with him. The Bloomsburg Athletic Department has a social networking policy that holds all of its student athletes to and while Casselberry did, in our opinion, likely violate that policy, the punishment is not specified for posting derogatory things on social media.
If any other student posted something like this, it is true that they probably wouldn’t be punished as harshly, but because Casselberry is a student athlete, his actions are representative of the university in a way that other students are not, and the punishment is, therefore, a just one.
First of all, the lack of maturity shown by Casselberry is astronomical. Insulting a 13-year-old baseball player is just an example of Casselberry proving to the world that he needs to act like a child to gain attention. We cannot understand any rationale for posting such a thing beyond seeking attention, or just trying to make a poorly thought out, irreverent joke for the sake of making an irreverent joke.
Davis, on the other hand, showed maturity beyond her years asking that Casselberry be reinstated to the team, a request that was denied by the university. Davis is going to be remembered in history as kicking down barriers in a male dominated sport, while Casselberry will only be remembered as that one guy who had the nerve to say something nasty about a young girl on social media.
If it was not enough that he insulted the young woman in the first place, he also tweeted after that he was a “huge fan” of Davis,’ and called her an inspiration in a last-ditch effort to get the media off of his back.
We think Casselberry described it accurately on his Twitter, which has since been deactivated, when he said “one stupid tweet can ruin someone’s life.” Hopefully this serves as a lesson to all student athletes to be cautious of what you post on social media sites and to remember that nothing on the Internet is ever private. It is important to remember that especially as an athlete, a student is always representing their university. That is why policies exist, why Casselberry should have been kicked off of the team, and why we agree with Bloomsburg’s decision to not back down on the issue.