In Reversal, DOE Reinstates Permits for ZogSports in Lower East Side Schoolyards
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ZogSports always play on this Rivington court, Photo: The Villager
At the end of August, ZogSports was dealt a blow when the Department of Education revoked their permits for kickball games at two Lower East Side schools (PS 142 on Attorney Street and Marta Valle/LES Preparatory on Stanton Street). The position was taken based on allegations that the co-ed social sports league is a for-profit business and, therefore, doesn’t qualify for such permits. Furthermore, residents in the vicinity have been complaining for years – with the help of the LES Dwellers – about noise problems and inability to use the courts.
But the decision against the adult kickball leagues was seemingly short-lived.
The Villager reports this week that the city agency decided to reverse its decision. A complete about-face:
The residents have complained that Zogsports promotes alcohol on schoolyards by partnering with sponsors such as Bud Light and Wild Turkey American Honey. The residents also say that children are turned away at the gates of their own schoolyards to make room for the adult kickball games.
“I guess they can technically cover themselves as a not-for-profit because of their sister entity,” said Diem Boyd, founder of L.E.S. Dwellers, an activist local neighborhood group. “But our argument still says that it’s promoting happy hour at local bars and alcohol brands, and we don’t see how that’s appropriate on D.O.E. property.”
ZogSports is a for-profit entity that gives a portion of its net profit to a sister nonprofit called Play For Your Cause. In addition, the ZogSports Athletic Association of New York City is a nonprofit that runs “100 percent of the [ZogSports] activities in NYC Department of Education facilities” and in turn donates 100 percent of net proceeds to charity, according to the ZogSports Web site.
ZogSports allegedly doesn’t pay the schools to play on their grounds.