The Little League World Series, which is played in South Williamsport, Pa. and broadcast on ESPN, is known for producing its fair share of viral moments, courtesy of groups of giddy 12-year-old baseball players from around the country.
But one such moment caught on camera has social media spectators crying foul ball, leveling accusations of racism against the youths.
During the ESPN broadcast of the MLB Little League Classic between the Orioles and Red Sox, white players from the Davenport, Iowa team representing the Midwest region were shown on camera topping their black teammate’s hair with the stuffing from a plush animal.
“History is literally repeating itself, and not the good kind, either,” said one Twitter user, disturbed by the images.
Little League officials said the actions by the boys had “no ill-intent.”
“After speaking with the team, as well as reviewing photos, multiple players on the Midwest region team were taking part in this while enjoying the game,” Little League said in a statement.
“As only one player appeared on the broadcast, Little League International understands the actions could be perceived as racially insensitive,” officials said. “We have spoken with the player’s mother and the coaches, who have assured us that there was no ill-intent behind the action shown during the broadcast.”