By Ken Reed

I’m sure it wasn’t easy but Ireland’s national lacrosse team did the right thing last week.

Ireland’s team withdrew from the World Games 2022 international lacrosse tournament so a Native American team, the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team could play in the tournament. The Iroquois team qualified by finishing third in the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship. Eight teams qualified but the Iroquois team was deemed ineligible to compete by the International World Games Association (IWGA) because it does not represent a sovereign nation and doesn’t have an Olympic committee.

However, in August, the IWGA said it would reverse its ineligibility ruling if a place opened up for the Iroquois team.

That’s when the Ireland team decided to step up. They had finished well behind the Iroquois team at the qualifying 2018 Lacrosse World Championship and felt the Iroquois team deserved the World Games spot more than they did.

“It’s simply the right thing to do,” said Michael Kennedy, chief executive officer of Ireland Lacrosse.

“We are a proud member of World Lacrosse and we recognize the importance of The World Games to the continued growth of our sport. As much as our players would have been honored to compete, we know the right thing is for the Iroquois Nationals to represent our sport on this international stage.”

The Nationals represent the Iroquois Confederacy, a group of six Native American tribes that dates back hundreds of years. That group is comprised of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribes.

Yes, Ireland’s lacrosse team did the right thing in this case. Sportsmanship is always the right thing. And the Ireland national lacrosse team provided a great example for the rest of SportsWorld.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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