Fastpitch league nixes autograph sessions after threats to players

The National Pro Fastpitch softball league has canceled postgame autograph sessions until further notice because of threats made to players and staff on social media.

Commissioner Cheri Kempf told The Associated Press that the move came after "the same general threat" was made on various social media platforms. Kempf says the threats were made by "one particular person" and that the league is working with law enforcement to resolve the issue.

Postgame autograph sessions are required by the league and take place for 45 minutes after every NPF game. All players, from both home and visiting teams, attend.

The league said in a statement that it is discussing alternative ways to interact with fans while ensuring the safety of players.

"The autograph sessions are a big deal. It's kind of what people love about the league," Kempf said. "The fans are closer to the action [than baseball], and our players are very interactive with the audience, particularly postgame."

The league on Saturday canceled signing sessions in Akron, Ohio; Washington, Pennsylvania; and Conroe, Texas.

The NPF, previously known as the WPSL, began play in 1997. It has six teams, including clubs in Dallas, Chicago and Kissimmee, Florida.