So-called anti-racism trainings have now come for Virginia Little League baseball coaches.
Coaches were instructed via an email on Thursday that they should cancel practice to attend an anti-racist workshop titled, “Sports Can Battle Racism,” The Washington Free Beacon reported. The workshop will take place on May 24 just days before the spring season ends the first week of June.
Coaches received an email from Alexandria Little League board president Sherry Reilly, who announced the league had partnered with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and asked all coaches to attend the anti-racism workshop. As the Free Beacon reported: “A Sports Can Battle Racism workshop document for coaches includes six core themes, from ‘Create a Caring Climate’ to ‘Model Anti-Racist Behavior.’ Coaches are encouraged to teach themselves to perceive their own ‘internalized racism’ and look for ‘potential institutional racism’ in the community. Coaches are also asked to ‘be on the lookout’ for moments that they can use as ‘anti-racism learning opportunities.’”
PCA spokeswoman Casey Miller told the outlet that training sessions typically cost between $1,000 and $10,000 but would not say how much the year-long partnership with Alexandria Little League was worth or how much it paid for the coaches’ training. Miller did tell the outlet about the PCA’s goals.
“We want kids to have a positive youth character building experience, and resources and training that empower youth coaches and parents,” she told the Free Beacon. “How we define culture is based on how we dive into the ‘we’ piece about that statement. What does it mean to be a part of the we? Each person, no matter what background or what they look like, should feel a part of the we.”
Not everyone thinks young children playing Little League need extra lectures about togetherness.
“This is Little League, everyone plays in every game,” Alexandria parent Barry Bennett told the Free Beacon. “This is a bunch of busybodies virtue signaling. Leave ten-year-olds alone.”
As the Free Beacon noted, the PCA’s online resource library “mirrors the ‘antiracist’ and critical theory-based training in nearby public schools”:
One resource, geared toward high school student athletes, is a definition guide with more than 30 entries, such as “cultural appropriation,” “systemic racism,” and “intersectionality.” The guide links equality with “meritocracy” and includes an addendum that asks “whether equality is enough” and if “equity is a more important principle.”
Gender “transcend[s] biology,” according to the guide, and is “very complex since people can identify in diverse ways.” It notes that Facebook offers more than 70 gender options.
The alliance also offers a quiz that allows high school athletes to assess their “privilege.” Being a child of a parent or guardian with a college degree is one example of privilege. Athletes and coaches can also use the website’s “identity wheel,” which includes sections on sex, sexual preference, race, and religion, to “increase awareness of how privilege operates to normalize some identities over others.”
Similar trainings have drawn backlash from parents in the community. At a recent public meeting in Loudoun County, mother Shawntel Cooper gave a viral denunciation of Critical Race Theory, which she described as “racist” and “abusive,” The Daily Wire reported.
“In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,’” Cooper said. “Now I have a dream that we will implement love, not hate, or supporting another Jim Crow’s agenda. CRT is not a ‘nice dialogue,’ it was a tactic that was used by Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan on slaveries many years ago to dumb down my ancestors so we could not think for ourselves. CRT is racist; it is abusive; it discriminates against one’s color.”