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“Concerning and troubling behavior” of former player prompts dismissal of Kingsport baseball team

“Concerning and troubling behavior involving a former teammate,” prompted the dismissal of Kingsport’s summer collegiate baseball team, Kingsport Axmen.
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Kingsport’s summer collegiate baseball team has been dismissed for the season following what a representative for Boyd Sports calls “concerning and troubling behavior involving a former teammate.”

The Kingsport Axmen is part of the Appalachian League under USA Baseball and MLB.

In a release, President of Boyd Sports Chris Allen said that former teammate is now under the care of medical professionals.

“A player has been removed from the team for conduct of concern and violation of team rules. As we continue to evaluate the facts of the matter we have postponed the game and will keep our fans informed,” the Kingsport Axmen tweeted.

The Kingsport Police Department reports that on July 12, officers were called to Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport while team managers dismissed player Matthew Taylor.

More than an hour later, authorities said Taylor sent social media messages threatening to kill multiple people at a Kingsport Axmen game scheduled for that night.

The games were rescheduled that night and the following night. Taylor was arrested that night and charged with False Reporting and Harassment. He later posted a $25,000 bond.

“Since becoming aware of this matter, Boyd Sports, USA Baseball and MLB all have aimed to act with the best interests of the welfare of the players and staff in mind. Discussions regarding to these unusual circumstances, USA Baseball made the decision to allow the players of the Kingsport Axmen to return home,” said Allen.

Allen said the turn of events has prompted adjustments, namely the process of curating a travel team comprised of a different group of players who can complete the season. “A decision like this affects not only the Kingsport Axmen but every other team in the league’s schedule. We do not want to let down our other nine partners in the Appalachian League,” said Allen.

“A player has been removed from the team for conduct of concern and violation of team rules. As we continue to evaluate the facts of the matter we have postponed the game and will keep our fans informed,” the Kingsport Axmen tweeted.

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