Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Why Rahm's Whitney Young Girls Snub Is So Bad

Whoops! The Chicago mayor stages a boys-only tribute at City Hall

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    NEWSLETTERS

    File under "Public Relations Disaster": Both the boys and girls' basketball teams at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School won the state championship this year, but only the guy players scored an invite to City Hall last week.

    The Chicago Reader reports that Mayor Rahm Emanuel honored the prize-winning, Jahlil Okafor-led Dolphins during a session with aldermen on Wednesday, extending his "heartiest congratulations."

    What about the Lady Dolphins, three-time state champs who've claimed the city title six years in a row? Aren't the girls worth a visit, too, Mr. Mayor?

    Most people think they are.

    "I think it's an amazing accomplishment that one school could win both the men's and women's championships," said 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti, who seized the moment to address the snub. "I think we should have had both teams come down for Wednesday's meeting. We should always honor the best together."

    The boys-only tribute rattled the Lady Dolphins, sending "a message that boys' sports are more important than girls' sports," said their coach, Corry Irvin, to the Reader. "Girls should be honored in the same manner as boys—they're certainly working just as hard."

    Irvin said Emanuel's aides had been reminded to celebrate the girls' victories along with the boys teams at Young and Morgan Park High School, which was honored April 2 for winning the state championship's 3A bracket. But no such invitation arrived.

    In a statement Friday, a spokesperson for the mayor noted: "The intention is to honor the team at the next City Council meeting. One basketball team has been honored at each of the last two meetings—Morgan Park and Whitney Young boys."

    Keep digging yourself into that hole, City Hall.

    Meanwhile, it is our intention to shake our heads at tone-deaf government gaffes and laugh just a little at the absurdity of it all.

    Pass the popcorn?