Where are the black players and coaches?

African-Americans protest lack of representation on Chico’s Little League teams

Photo By matt siracusa

A group of African-American parents and religious leaders, led by Pastor Stephen Shy (pictured), who runs a private ministry in Chico called The Ministry of Hope, turned out at the Eastside Little League field Monday (April 27) to protest what they say is a lack of black coaches and players in Chico’s four Little Leagues.

Calling it “a show of force in a nonviolent, positive way,” Shy said they wanted the leagues to be more proactive in recruiting blacks to their teams. “I want them to seek out leaders in the black community and come to the churches,” he said.

Rich Gray, president of Eastside Little League, said the league doesn’t recruit players. It sends out fliers to schools and such groups as the Boys and Girls Club, but that’s it. Asked whether the league should be more proactive in recruiting black players, Gray said he had no comment.