Softball coach responds after team disqualified due to 'inappropriate' social media post

Snapchat posts shows members of the team giving the middle finger.

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- A photo of a Virginia softball team has now gone viral, with the story being published in outlets like USA Today, People Magazine, The New York Post, and ESPN.

The reaction was swift.

The photo was posted on Snapchat and showed six members of the Atlee Junior Softball All-Star team from their World Series in Kirkland, Washington making obscene gestures toward the team they had just beat in the semifinals.

Their coach says these young ladies feel a lot of remorse for letting their community down.

The team was disqualified by Little League officials for poor sportsmanship.

The coach told WTVR in Richmond that he made his players apologize to the other team for their actions, thinking that would be the end of it.

"It was a shock when we found out," he told WTVR.

Atlee defeated the Kirkland team 1-0 in the semifinal game where a player and the manager of the Kirkland team were ejected, but the Kirkland team took Atlee's place in the finals when they were disqualified.

The coach said the punishment was too harsh.

Now he said parents of the players are using the incident as a teaching moment.

"Think before you act. Before you do something, make sure you think about it first and what consequences can come from it," he said. "These girls, they're human. They just made a mistake. It doesn't define who they are for the rest of their lives."

He also said the community has responded with an outpouring of support.

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