Elijah Dukes was the first to run afoul of the Nationals’ new No Tolerance rules. When he was five minutes late to warmups because he spent too much time speaking with Little Leaguers, that meant a fine and a benching. That’s lead to him being the cause célèbre of unjustly persecuted people the world over. Maybe I’m guilty of not paying enough attention to the Nationals, but when exactly did Elijah Dukes, pregnant-woman-assaulter, become Jesus?
And just like Jesus, some well-meaning groups are raising money for him that he probably doesn’t really need. The Little League that monopolized his precious time Saturday is collecting donations to help Dukes pay off his tardiness fine. Guys, Dukes makes six figures. Save the money and buy yourselves a pizza party.
This isn’t even the strangest outcome of one of Dukes’ punishments. That would be cleaning out zoo cages for his court-ordered community service. But having Little Leaguers pay your tab is pretty bizarre, too.
Great Falls Little League is hoping to raise the $501 by next week — $500 for the fine, and $1 for “administrative costs”. They feel bad because Dukes’ lateness was caused by them forcing him to sit through a parade of 54 teams, a cheerleading performance, the national anthem, the introduction of the high school team, and finally, his speech. And to be honest, that afternoon sounds just awful.
“The point is, this guy gave back to our community, and now he’s in a hard spot. We need to help him,” said [little league president Jim] Mraz, who emphasized he was looking to support Dukes and not criticize the Nationals. “It’s not a question of whether this guy can afford the 500 bucks. We’re just trying to send a message to our kids: He was here for us. Now we’ve got to be there for him.”
He was there for you because you paid him for his appearance. (Coincidentally[?], it was a $500 fee. Hmmmm.) I understand you feel bad, but maybe Dukes isn’t the best role model for your kids. And, exhibit B.