CBS station WBBM-TV in Chicago reports that a teen-age girl is asking her school to ban Little League teams sponsored by taverns, something that she believes promotes alcohol consumption.
Krystle Newquist, who said her grandfather died from liver damage caused by alcoholism, started her protest by covering the sponsor's name, The Carousel, on her shirt with masking tape. The tavern complained because their donations keep the team in business.
Local league officials said the teen was out of uniform and ordered her to remove the tape. Newquist, who has played Lemont Little League baseball for seven years, refused and was banned from playing ball.
Now, she's calling on the school district to bar school playing fields to teams sponsored by taverns.
The teen has asked the school board in this Chicago suburb to investigate whether allowing teams sponsored by bars to play on school property is legal. She wants the Board of Education to ban such sponsors from the fields.
Newquist says that children should not be human billboards for alcohol.
"If Little League requested to put signs on the fences around the fields displaying all the sponsors, I cannot believe that this board of education would allow them to advertise The Carousel tavern on school property," Newquist said in a statement Tuesday. "Why then is it OK for them to advertise on the backs of children?"
School board president Joseph Falese said the board would evaluate Newquist's request and decide whether any action was necessary.
According to league rules, players are required to wear uniforms that are identical in color, trim and style, a policy that includes any words or pictures.
Lance Van Auken, a spokesman for Little League International, said the league forbids ads that directly advertise alcohol, such as a brand of beer, or tobacco products. Places that sell such items, however, are not excluded.
"It's not something we were particularly happy hearing about," Van Auken said of Newquist's suspension. "But we have to give autonomy to our local leagues."
Van Auken added that the local league rejected both the option of "trading" Newquist or requesting an exemption for her.
Reported By WBBM-TV