Are kids in Little League World Series exploited?

Are kids in Little League World Series exploited?
August 21, 2014, 1:30 pm
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The most popular pitcher on the planet right now? Clayton Kershaw? King Felix Hernandez?

Not even close. Try Mo'Ne Davis.

The Philly Little League pitching sensation graces the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. Is all the attention on her and the Little League World Series too much? Are 11-, 12- and 13-year-old kids being exploited by networks and even fans?

Absolutely, says Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe.

"Way too much. It's bordeline exploitive," Dupont told Michael Felger, Greg Dickerson and Steve DeOssie on Sports Tonight. "ESPN's coverage of this reminds me of watching 6-year-olds in beauty pageants where they try to dress girls up like they're 30 years old. It's a little kids game. Let them be kids. There's no question the camera lens has magnified it and it's exploitive."

DeOssie disagrees.

"I think it's great for the kids," the former NFL player said. "Let them have their moment. Ninety-nine percent of these kids aren't going to go on to become pro athletes. They can be heroes in their hometowns..."

Felger also wonders what the problem is.

"Can give me at least one story about a kid who was ruined because they showed in crying on television at 11 or 12 [years old]?" he asked.

Dickerson said the fame for all these kids is fleeting.

"Can anyone tell me who was the star of the Little League World Series last year?" he asked. "Mo'Ne Davis will be forgotten and we'll all move on to the next big thing."