A professional softball team formed barely two weeks ago as a byproduct of the movement for social change and racial equality sweeping the country, This Is Us, saw its first season come to an abrupt end Wednesday as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The fledgling team recently organized by some of the best softball players in the country announced it was canceling the remainder of its summer schedule against fellow independent professional team USSSA Pride because of "exposure to COVID-19."
Our mission remains. We will continue to work to be a positive voice in our community, and we look forward to the future of This Is Us Softball. pic.twitter.com/0FhDmyerYL— This Is Us Softball (@thisisussb) July 8, 2020
This Is Us did not specify the type of exposure or whether any of its players tested positive for the coronavirus. Two players told ESPN they were put in what one phrased a "position of possible exposure" earlier this week and underwent testing with results still pending.
USSSA CEO Don DeDonatis III confirmed to ESPN that both teams underwent testing this week and that, with some results also pending for his team, no Pride players had yet tested positive.
In all, This Is Us played five games against USSSA Pride at the latter's home venue in Florida. The final two games scheduled were canceled due to inclement weather this past weekend. The two teams had hoped to continue an extended summer series with a total of at least 20 games.
The same two rosters also played on June 22, when This Is Us was still the Scrap Yard Dawgs. Players from that Texas-based organization quit en masse after a postgame meeting with the team's general manager about a national anthem-related tweet she posted during the summer opener.
The players reformed as This Is Us later the same week, stating their mission was to raise awareness of racial injustice and "spark a necessary change in the softball community." The roster included more than half of the current United States Olympic team.
DeDonatis said the Pride, whose roster also features a long list of the sport's best-known names, hoped to continue playing in some capacity, perhaps against an all-star team from a college summer league currently underway in Florida.