The United States has had a a dominant softball program for many years. The American squad has regularly taken home gold medals at both the Olympics and the Pan-American games. Many of the athletes from those teams now play in independent professional leagues.
Connie May is the General Manager of one of those teams, the Scrap Yard Dawgs. Before a recent tournament game, May tweeted Donald Trump a picture of the team standing for the National Anthem. Upon seeing the message, all members of the team quit in protest.
The now deleted message sent to the President read, “Hey Donald Trump. Pro Fastpitch being played live. Everyone respecting the FLAG!”
We might be standing in this photo but we SURE AS HELL AREN’T STANDING FOR THIS. I’m embarrassed. I’m heartbroken. I’m DISGUSTED. @ScrapYardFP I will never be associated with your organization again. BLACK LIVES MATTER. The tone deafness on this is UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/5jSNipTFLd
— Haylie McCleney (@hayliemac8) June 23, 2020
The team furiously condemned the idea that a picture of them would be used in that manner. Haylie McCleney, who was set to play for the 2020 Olympic team, tweeted, “We might be standing in this photo but we SURE AS HELL AREN’T STANDING FOR THIS. I’m embarrassed. I’m heartbroken. I’m DISGUSTED. Scrap Yard, I will never be associated with your organization again. BLACK LIVES MATTER. The tone deafness on this is UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!”
Cat Osterman is another member of the team and one of the greatest players in softball history. She said of the tweet, “The more we talked about it, the angrier I got, and I finally just said, ‘I’m done, I’m not going to wear this jersey. We were used as pawns in a political post, and that’s not OK.”
May attempted to speak with the team, but made things worse when she uttered the phrase, “all lives matter.”
“It wasn’t as hard of a decision as everyone thinks it was, because we knew it was the right thing to do,” says Osterman.
— Natalie Weiner (@natalieweiner) June 24, 2020
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.