If you’re unfamiliar with Mo’ne Davis, you’re probably in the country’s minority.
She rose to fame in the 2014 Little League World Series, where she was the first African American girl to ever play in the games. Davis also managed to pitch a shutout during the series, and her athletic prowess propelled her to fame. One of her team’s games drew in more than 5 million viewers and earned ESPN a 3.1 Nielsen rating, the highest ever in the history of the event.
After the LLWS, Davis began receiving praise from notable celebrities across the country, including professional athletes like Mike Trout and Kevin Durant, as well as Ellen DeGeneres, Billie Jean King and Michelle Obama.
She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, she got the opportunity to play in the 2015 Celebrity NBA All-Star Game, Spike Lee directed a documentary about her, and she threw out the ceremonial first pitch during Game 4 of the 2014 World Series.
She has her own book coming out, a shoe line to benefit girls in need, and there’s even a biopic being made about her life. Mo’ne is getting all kinds of recognition, and she deserves it. She managed to break new ground and is helping set an example for people of all ages, everywhere.
Last week, it was announced that a made-for-TV movie about Davis, called “Throw Like Mo” is in the works over at Disney channel. Good for her, right? She deserves it. Who could possibly disagree with that?
Joey Casselberry could, apparently.
It was dumb enough for Casselberry to tweet those insensitive remarks, but in case you needed any further evidence of how unintelligent he is, check out his bio: he included the school he represents as a student-athlete, and his profile picture is a photo of him in his baseball jersey. The tweet went viral, and plenty of Twitter users were calling for Bloomsburg to take action against Casselberry.
The university wasted no time responding to the situation, issuing the following statement via Twitter less than 24 hours later:
Bloomsburg reacted swiftly and effectively to Casselberry’s comments, and though some may believe they were harsh on the player, they did what they felt was necessary to enforce a no-tolerance policy for harassment and negative speech. I’ll be interested to see if the school makes any additional statements addressing the situation and further explaining why they chose to dismiss Casselberry.
This incident is yet another example of – as Dylan has previously written about and we have discussed in class – the way that one wrong move on social media can severely tarnish the careers and even lives of those unfortunate enough to say the wrong thing.
People argue in support of free speech and this and that, but at the end of the day, free speech is meant to protect you from being legally penalized for the moronic things you say. It doesn’t prevent employers and private institutions from responding in whatever manner they please in order to prevent their reputation from being ruined as a result of you being a moron. This is especially true when you are in a position that is representative of your company, team, university or what have you.
Bloomsburg has said they’re standing firm on their decision to dismiss Casselberry from the team, so it doesn’t look like he’ll be playing anytime soon. Davis, on the other hand, continues to be the most mature 13-year-old on earth.