Commentary: Thank You, Mo’ne Davis, for Another Lesson in Class

Mo'ne Davis

Commentary: Thank You, Mo’ne Davis, for Another Lesson in Class

What she reminds us about leading by example.

Published March 24, 2015

The future is looking pretty bright for Mo’ne Davis. After becoming the first female pitcher to throw a shutout game during last year’s Little League World Series, she’s got plenty to look forward to: she’s currently promoting her first book, has launched a sneaker line benefiting underprivileged girls and Disney Channel is developing a TV movie about her life. But even when you’re at the top of your game, haters gonna hate.

Enter Joey Casselberry, a junior first baseman for Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, who thought it would be wise to tweet the following about the 13-year-old Davis: "Disney is making a movie about Mo'ne Davis? WHAT A JOKE. That slut got rocked by Nevada."

Yep, he went there. This is presumably a grown man (or man child?) calling a teenage girl a slut. Now raise your hand if your initial reaction was to drag this boy for his trespasses? I’ll wait.

After going viral, the tweet was deleted and the school promptly issued a statement disavowing his comments and informing that Casselberry had been removed from the baseball team. But it wasn’t enough for me. I felt he needed to feel the full spectrum of public scrutiny that comes along with talking crazy in a very public forum.

But then I read the letter Davis sent to school officials, in which she asked for Casselberry to be reinstated to the team. "Everyone makes mistakes," Davis wrote. "Everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn't mean it in that type of way. I know people get tired of seeing me on TV. But sometimes you got to think about what you're doing before you do it.

"It hurt on my part, but he hurt even more. If it was me, I would want to take that back. I know how hard he's worked. Why not give him a second chance?"

I put my pitchfork down for a second to ponder this young woman’s rationale. By sending that email, she’s showing the world that her convictions to rise above hate and intolerance are bigger than a tweet. She’s walking the walk that we’ve all promised to do since grade school. She’s showing us that real change comes through leading by example and that maybe there is room in this world for turning the other cheek.

We can certainly argue that one deserves to be vilified for spouting off foul, sexually explicit language, especially when it’s aimed at a child. It’s in our nature to protect our children from undue harm, but Davis’s compassion is a lesson to us grown folks that sometimes kids can teach us more than a few things about keeping it classy in a cruel, cold world.

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(Photo: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Written by Britt Middleton


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