4.27.2008

Dragging Christian Little League to Court

by Suzie Raven

When I was seven, I couldn’t care less about the name of my softball league, or its affiliation with Little League International. I was far too busy doing cartwheels in right field. My coaches (and my parents) didn’t care either. They were also too busy – making sure I didn’t get hit in the head with a fly ball.

Jay Kaplan of Pompano Beach, Florida cares. Little League International is suing the founder of what is called “Christian Little League” for trademark infringement. Little League's counsel sent Kaplan a cease and desist order last month, and then filed suit earlier this month. Little League owns the rights to many combinations of those two words, including “Little League,” “Little League Baseball” and even “Little Leaguer.”

Kaplan won’t back down.

"God is the ultimate judge and has the final say," he said. "The words little and league do not belong to your client, they belong to God and the people."

Let’s take religion out of the equation. I believe in a separation of church and baseball as much as I believe in the separation of church and state. I still think Little League needs to get off of its high horse. It’s not like putting the words “little” and “league” together was a stroke of creative genius. Maybe whoever coined the phrase “grilled cheese” should copyright that.

Let the kids play ball. Let Jay Kaplan focus on convincing first graders to stop doing cartwheels in right field.

(The photo shows an official Little League game in Florida, not a Christian Little League contest. The photo is by kthypryn via Flickr, using a Creative Commons License.)








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