Women's softball has been removed from the Olympics beginning in 2012 and it has definitely changed the future of the sport. Now, a new professional league has surfaced. National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is the name of the league and it needs the stars of American softball to make it work. Seems like a perfect opportunity, doesn't it? Play on the national team and play professionally. It's been done in many sports for years.
But just as we faced opposition 40 years ago, so are our softball stars. Jessica Mendoza, along with other members of the Olympic team, including Natasha Watley, Cat Osterman, Monica Abbott, Caitlin Lowe, Lauren Lappin, Andrea Duran and Vicky Galindo, are asking the same question we asked in 1970 -- "why can't we do both?"
Jessica and her teammates have to choose between the national team and a professional league and they have opted to play exclusively with the NPF. They are sticking together, standing side-by-side. Jessica Mendoza is a leader and she, like her teammates, is very passionate about the future of their sport, and the opportunity of their chosen profession. They are making tough decisions.
If everyone works together it will work out. We may have disagreed with the USTA 40 years ago, but now we enjoy a very productive relationship with the organization. The softball players have a difficult road ahead and this generation will not reap the real benefits, but they will lay a strong foundation for those generations who come after them. These women are being brave and considerate of those who will come after them.
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