Jackie Robinson West parents sue Little League, ESPN's Stephen Smith

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Thursday, February 11, 2016
JRW sues Little League
The adults in charge of the Jackie Robinson West All Stars say it was a difficult decision to file a lawsuit against Little League Baseball.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The parents of the Jackie Robinson West youth baseball team filed a lawsuit against the Little League Baseball, JRW team officials and ESPN sportscaster Stephen Smith.

The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court on Thursday -- exactly one year after the Chicago team was stripped of its 2014 U.S. Little League championship title after it was discovered that some players did not live within residency borders submitted to the league.

The lawsuit claims Little League officials should have figured out the residency problems before the team became a national phenomenon.

Little League released a statement that read: "It is Little League International's policy not to comment on pending litigation. While we have not yet been served with the lawsuit, once it is received and thoroughly reviewed with our legal counsel, we will determine if we have any additional comment on this matter."

The lawsuit also claims that Smith defamed JRW parents by implying they were involved in the alleged fraud.

ESPN's official response on Thursday was: "We have not seen the lawsuit so it would be inappropriate to comment."

ESPN and ABC7 are owned by the same parent company, Disney.