Members of professional softball team the Scrap Yard Dawgs, including Olympic gold medalist Cat Osterman, criticized the team for sending a tweet directed to President Donald Trump that highlighted players' standing for the national anthem.
Scrap Yard opened a seven-game series against the USSSA Pride on Monday. The team's Twitter account wrote in a since-deleted tweet: "Hey @realDonaldTrump Pro Fastpitch being played live @usssaspacecoast @USSSAPride Everyone respecting the FLAG!"
Osterman and fellow gold medalist Natasha Watley were among those who condemned the tweet (h/t Danny Davis of the Austin American-Statesman):
Natasha Watley OLY @natashawatley29
Seriously fuming right now😡🤬 @ScrapYardFP you are better than this! Haven’t we been going over this for the last 3 weeks? This is not funny at ALL! Has nothing to do with respecting the flag and ALL to do with respecting ALL Americans in this country regardless of color of skin https://t.co/cdymUwWRsH
Kelsey Stewart @stewartkels7
.... I AM HURT ... I am disgusted ... as a BLACK softball player I DO NOT ... DO NOT stand with a statement like this... if you didn’t understand racism and what was going on the last month. This .. THIS IS IT. This is EXACTLY what we’ve been trying to change https://t.co/udoeaSJFwp
Dawgs player Aubree Munro Watson said the tweet originated from general manager Connie May. Watson added that she was "appalled by the [insensitivity] & will not represent Scrap Yard ever again."
The sentiment referenced a refrain often lobbed against former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 NFL season.
Shortly after he started the protest, Kaepernick explained his purpose to NFL Network's Steve Wyche: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."
However, some dismissed his reasoning and contended he was disrespecting the American flag.
More attention has been paid to Kaepernick's protests in recent weeks with the ongoing protests and demonstrations following the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.