Pride summer series against This Is Us canceled

Covid-19 declared reason for cancellation of summer series


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USSSA Pride third baseman Jessie Warren makes a play during a recent game against This is Us. The two teams announced Wednesday their summer series has been canceled.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The USSSA Pride summer series against This Is Us has been canceled.

The independent professional fastpitch softball teams made separate announcements Wednesday. A statement by This Is Us said the cancellation was due to “exposure to Covid-19.”

There was no word on whether any member of This Is Us, or the Pride for that matter, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

However, the number of cases in the United States has now topped 3 million with more than 223,000 cases in Florida according to Johns Hopkins University. That includes 2,812 reported cases in Brevard County as of Wednesday afternoon.

“The USSSA Pride summer softball season has come to another unexpected halt,” the organization posted on its Twitter account.

“We at USSSA Pride understand the decision of the This Is Us team to end their season and appreciate their continued efforts thus far amidst multiple challenges.

“The safety of USSSA athletes continues to be the organization’s number one priority. Although we will no longer be playing our planned schedule, the USSSA Pride will be attending youth camps and tournaments at the USSSA Space Coast Complex as planned through the end of July. We also remain open to other playing opportunities.

“We’d like to thank our amazing fans for their support throughout these last several weeks.”

It has hardly been a smooth season for the Pride, or the players who make up the team now known as This Is Us.

The original summer series was supposed to be between the Pride and the Scrap Yard Dawgs.

However, after the season opener on June 22 in which Scrap Yard Dawgs general manager Connie May posted a since-deleted tweet showing players standing for the national anthem with their hands over their hearts and tagged President Donald Trump, who has frequently criticized those who kneel for the anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

Incensed by the tweet, which they felt took away their voices, the players walked out on the Scrap Yard Dawgs organization and vowed to never represent it again.

“We were spoken for on an extremely sensitive, extremely personal topic,” infielder Sam Fischer, who is married to an Air Force veteran, would later explain.

“That right there was the main issue. The underlying things, of course, I think to us are very obvious. But just to take a stance like that on a public forum from an organization’s page, it was wrong in our eyes.”

Two days after the season opener, the Pride announced its summer season had been postponed. However, the former members of the Scrap Yard Dawgs – which include 11 members of Team USA – returned to the field on June 27, under the new team name: This Is Us.

In its mission statement the team said it was “here to spark a necessary change in the softball community, gaining and sharing knowledge about racial injustice in our world.”

The team was accepting donations through its website and had raised more than $36,000 by the time the two teams returned to the field.

They would play a total of five games before Wednesday’s announcement. The teams were originally scheduled to play that night.

“This Is Us softball is heartbroken to announce that this season has been cancelled due to Covid-19,” the team posted on its webpage.

“Due to exposure to Covid-19, we must protect the health and safety of our players. TIU Softball will continue to create awareness, empowerment, and unity in the softball community. Our season is over, but our mission is not.

“We would like to take this time to acknowledge and thank our community who has supported us in these unprecedented times to get back on the field and assure you that your donations will be put toward our future efforts to grow our message.

“This is not the end. We are just getting started.”