A 7-game series between two pro women's softball teams came to an abrupt end last week when every member of one of the teams quit after the first game.
The walk-out had nothing to do with how the game went and everything to do with something the team's General Manager did during it.
According to the New York Times, Scrap Yard Fast Pitch GM, Connie May, used the team's official Twitter account to send an anti-kneeling message of support to the president: "Hey @realDonaldTrump Pro Fastpitch being played live … Everyone standing for the FLAG!" the tweet states, accompanied by a photo of the players standing for the anthem prior to the game.
The players began getting texts about the tweet after the game. "It was a shock," pitcher Cat Osterman told the Times. "An actual, genuine, speechless shock took over our locker room."
The players talked over how they felt about being used for a political statement—especially one that is easily interpreted as being in opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement. Two players on the team, Kelsey Stewart and Kiki Stokes, are Black, and the GM did not speak for any of the players with her tweet. When May came to talk to the team and said, "All lives matter," the team was done.Stewart told the Times that the players "were very, very angry" and the entire team rallied to denounce the message. "It was nice to know that Kiki, who's Black, didn't have to do all the talking — that I didn't have to do all the talking," she said.
We might be standing in this photo but we SURE AS HELL AREN’T STANDING FOR THIS. I’m embarrassed. I’m heartbroken.… https://t.co/jj9GJ9qG6q— Haylie McCleney (@Haylie McCleney)1592876899.0
"The more we talked about it, the angrier I got," said Osterman, "and I finally just said, 'I'm done, I'm not going to wear this jersey.'"
Every last one of the players concurred and walked off the team. Just like that. But what happened next was also extraordinary.
The team that Scrap Yard Fast Pitch was playing in the series, USSSA Pride, posted their own message on Twitter, stating that they were postponing their season "to reflect and determine how best to move forward as a collective."
An update on our season: https://t.co/MBt7IbvP9m— USSSA Pride (@USSSA Pride)1593008942.0
Then the former Scrap Yard Fast Pitch players formed their own new team, called This Is Us.
This Is Us. We want to continue to play, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, we WANT CHANGE. We will stand up for what we believe… https://t.co/h7yEwFwOLw— Ally Carda ⚓ (@Ally Carda ⚓)1593045437.0
Want to stand with us or more info: https://t.co/cWqQtUaqNC https://t.co/yJpgOckIbv— Cat Osterman OLY (@Cat Osterman OLY)1593191264.0
After that, USSSA Pride and This Is Us scheduled their own game, which was played on Saturday.
After a final meeting tonight between players, pro softball will return Saturday with USSSA Pride playing This Is U… https://t.co/SikUwOhfJs— Graham Hays (@Graham Hays)1593232594.0
So within a week, an entire pro softball team quit, made a unified statement about what they stood for, inspired another team to pause and reflect, built a whole new team, and scheduled games to continue the season.
This is how you stand for something. Well done, ladies.
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