Youth Baseball Team Not Allowed to Bear Constitution Arms

Matt Carmel is a father and small business owner in Maplewood, New Jersey. Last year, he entered his 10-year-old son in the local Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken baseball league. The kid must have had a good go of it, because when the next season was about to start, Carmel sent a letter to the league's committee asking if he could sponsor a team, using the name of his business. ↵

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↵The committee overwhelmingly voted against his request. The reason being that his business is a firearms dealership called Constitution Arms. ↵

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↵⇥"Arbitrary, capricious and unfair," Carmel said of the perceived slight. "I don’t like being pigeonholed." ↵⇥

↵⇥In an 8-1 vote, the volunteer committee said thanks, but no thanks. ↵⇥

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↵⇥"I voted against it," said Craig Gruber, secretary of the committee. "Personally ... given the nature of that business, I’m certain there’d be quite a bit of contention. We don’t need the headache. ... We have our hands full with deciding whether infield fly rules should be in effect for 9-year-olds." ↵⇥

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↵⇥The committee, Gruber said, hasn’t taken up-or-down votes on sponsors, at least in his seven years’ experience. But this time, Constitution Arms caught its eye. ↵⇥

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↵⇥"My sense was the backlash would be extraordinary," he said. ↵⇥

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↵⇥To Carmel, the rejection flies in the face of the perception South Orange-Maplewood, which share a school system, is a proverbial big tent open to all ideas. ↵⇥

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↵⇥"Only if you agree with them," he said. "But if you don’t, the tent is not that big." ↵⇥

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↵Sorry, buddy. If the Washington Wizards can't go back to being the Bullets, I doubt anyone can avoid the freakout of having kids associated with a sports team sponsored by a gun store. Anything gun-related combined with kids is going to be contentious enough to cause a major stir among the among parents in the league. While there's no inherent danger of having a gun store sponsor a little league team, there could be negative fallout for the league if they allowed it to go forward. ↵

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↵(H/T to Hugging Harold Reynolds) ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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