Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis stunned everyone watching the 2014 Little League World Series (LLWS), by pitching a two-hitter shutout against Nashville and by being the first African-American female to play in the tournament, according to ESPN. Her Philadelphia team later lost to Chicago, but not before Mo’ne became known for her maturity and skill. Therefore, it is unsurprising and admirable that the 13-year-old Mo’ne demonstrated this sophistication when faced with an inappropriate tweet from a college baseball player who was likely jealous of her early success.
The tweet, written by 20-year-old Bloomsburg University player Joey Casselberry, followed the announcement that Disney Channel plans to produce an original movie about Mo’ne’s story called “Throw like Mo,” according to CNN. Casselberry tweeted, “Disney is making a movie about Mo’ne Davis? WHAT A JOKE. That slut got rocked by Nevada.” Mo’ne’s story could easily make a great, inspirational movie about a young girl breaking gender and racial barriers. Mo’ne, along with Canada’s Emma March, entered the 2014 LLWS as only the seventeenth and eighteenth female players to do so in the tournament’s 68-year history, according to ESPN. It is a remarkable feat, considering one team may have more male players than the total number of girls to play in the LLWS.
Casselberry clearly did not agree with the fans’ lauding of Mo’ne. The first part of Casselberry’s tweet is acceptable, as that bit is just his opinion. He clearly thinks it is a waste of time for Disney to produce a movie about the 13-year-old. Why he felt the need to state this exactly is another matter entirely. His tweet will not stop production or make the final product less inspiring. If Casselberry had just left the tweet alone after he got through writing in all caps, then it would have gone unnoticed.
However, Casselberry used the word “slut” to to describe a 13-year-old girl who played her heart out at the LLWS. She even won one game, and thus became the first female to pitch for a win in the LLWS before losing to Las Vegas and then to Chicago, reported ESPN. Bloomsburg University dismissed Casselberry from the baseball team because of this offensive word as stated in a press release, according to CNN. The rest of Casselberry’s tweet is not vulgar or defamatory, but this crosses the line and it reflects poorly on Casselberry and Bloomsburg.
Following the overall negative reaction to Casselberry’s tweet, Mo’ne again shocked everyone with her capability of overcoming ignorance by asking for the reinstatement of Casselberry, according to NPR. The phenom asked Bloomsburg to reconsider stating, “Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance,” according to The Washington Post. Mo’ne’s maturity far outshines her age. She could have taken this negative statement to heart, but she instead kept it from getting her down and forgave Casselberry’s mistake when everyone else was criticizing him.
Casselberry’s past accomplishments and lack of cinematic recognition may have influenced his poor social media decision as he broke many records at his Pennsylvania high school and has had just as much success in baseball as Mo’ne, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Therefore, it is understandable why Casselberry would be confused as to why Mo’ne has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, been interviewed on ESPN, and will soon have a movie based on her experiences. It is entirely acceptable for Casselberry to question this gap, but no one should ever demean someone else just because that person has enjoyed more success.
Mo’ne is incredibly unique in the testosterone-filled world of baseball. She pitched at 71 miles-per-hour which is the equivalent of pitching 93 miles-per-hour in major league baseball in terms of reaction time, according to MSNBC. Mo’ne’s talent, along with her gender, race and age make her an intriguing individual. Mo’ne’s heart, compassion and struggle against adversity make her movie-worthy.
Mo’ne impressed LLWS fans in 2014 with her remarkable talent and personality, but this recent situation involving Casselberry only exemplifies the many characteristics that make her an ideal role model for young people.
Becca Turner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.