In celebration of Black History Month, Athletes Unlimited has produced a six-part docuseries called Hitting Home: Diversity in Softball, examining social issues in professional sports featuring broadcast personality Arielle Chambers and five players from the 2020 inaugural softball season including the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award AJ Andrews, Team USA Member Jazmyn Jackson, Team USA Member Michelle Moultrie, Aleshia Ocasio who represented the Puerto Rican National Team, and Team USA Member Kelsey Stewart. The first episode will post on HighlightHer.com and across all Athletes Unlimited’s social channels (AUProSports).
The Athletes Unlimited docuseries will cover multiple social issues and nuances of what it is like to be Black in the United States and in the predominantly white sport of softball. This series will consist of six short episodes and range in topics from representation in softball to hair, expression, and mental health. Hitting Home: Diversity in Softball ties into Athletes Unlimited’s larger commitment to equality in sports and follows their other inspiring original series, Letter to Young Fans, Athletes Unplugged, and Every Moment Counts.
“Having meaningful discussions about social issues facing our country and our sport during Black History Month is very important to us as athletes,” said Jazmyn Jackson, 2020 Inaugural Softball League Member, and Manager of Civic Leadership. “We hope these conversations promote increased awareness and lead to positive change for athletes of color moving forward.”
“As part of our Black History Month celebration, we are proud to produce content which highlights our athletes and captures their honest opinions about difficult issues for our fans around the world,” said Anya Alvarez, Director of Content for Athletes Unlimited.
Here is a breakdown of all six episodes:
Representation in Softball. This episode discusses what it means to see a person that looks like you in a successful light. How it expands a person’s thoughts of what they can aspire to be, and what this continues to mean as these athletes are now in the same shoes as their childhood idol.
Barriers To Entry. Players discuss some of the barriers they have faced in the game surrounding the culture of travel ball, accessibility, and the high cost of the sport.
Who We Are. This episode will focus on the backstories of Aleshia Ocasio, Kelsey Stewart, AJ Andrews, Jazmyn Jackson, and Michelle Moultrie.
Hair & Expression. In this episode, we followed three of our athletes as they got ready and talked through the different products and methods they use to keep their hair protected on game day.
Softball in this climate. This episode covers why athletes using their voice and platform are now more important and influential than ever.
Mental Health, Black Lives Matter, & Allyship. This episode will focus on how these athletes have been involved themselves protesting and using their platforms to push the message forward and help educate the people around them on what they can do to help fight injustice.
Sam Fischer: Championing the spirit of AU Softball through play and leadership
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Britt Brown: The question that changed my life
Photo courtesy of University of Pennsylvania Athletes
Kalani Brown: ‘Don’t Count Me Out’
Kalani Brown © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Jenny Jeffries
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