The USSSA Pride professional softball team unanimously decided to postpone its season on Wednesday, after a tweet from Scrap Yard Fast Pitch boasted to President Trump that its players were standing for the national anthem before the first game of a series between the two teams started. Among the USSSA Pride roster are former Sooner softball standouts Shelby Pendley, Shay Knighten and Sydney Romero.
The two teams were scheduled to play each other in a seven-game series, but only the first match was played. After Connie May, Scrap Yard's general manager, tweeted at Trump "Everyone respecting the FLAG!" and a picture of the team standing in unison, Scrap Yard players decided to walk away from playing any more games.
Trump has been vocal in his opposition to kneeling during the national anthem before games, a movement created by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016.
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 USSSA Pride players followed suit, and after discussing the matter in a team meeting right after the first match, decided their games should be postponed as well. The team released the statement on Wednesday.
An update on our season: pic.twitter.com/MBt7IbvP9m— USSSA Pride (@USSSAPride) June 24, 2020
“A lot of positive is gonna come out of (postponing the season)," Pendley said in a Friday interview with The Daily. Pendley was an infielder and pitcher for the Sooners from 2013–15, and is an NCAA national champion. "And I think that as long as we are using the platform of playing to educate and back what's going on, I think some really positive things can come of this.”
The softball players on Scrap Yard formed "This Is Us," a group using independent means to get back on the softball field. Keilani Ricketts took to social media to support the newly made group.
Ricketts, an Oklahoma pitcher from 2010–13, was on the USSSA Pride roster from 2013–20. Ricketts has been a vocal supporter on social media of the team's decision to stop the season.
"This is Us," Ricketts tweeted Wednesday. "We understand we as Americans have freedom of speech which men and women have fought for but we also refuse to let our voices be taken from us moving forward. The Black community is hurting and instead of neglecting this pain we want to be able to unify and listen."
This is Us. We understand we as Americans have freedom of speech which men and women have fought for but we also refuse to let our voices be taken from us moving forward. The Black community is hurting and instead of neglecting this pain we want to be able to unify and listen pic.twitter.com/aPlEeIBPak— Keilani Ricketts Tumanuvao (@laniricketts10) June 25, 2020