As the ECSA celebrates its 40th season, let’s take a minute celebrate a hero that continues to play along side of us.
Richard Watson (currently playing on the Silverbacks) started in 1995 (inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2015) and is often seen as a strong, gentle leader with an amazingly approachable smile.
Although, many of us know him from his years of playing and coaching on the field, his personal story helped shape and empower the LGBTQ community as a whole.
In 1995 Rich, a 15-year Navy Veteran, was a primary figure in the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” fight that allowed gays to serve in the military ONLY if they kept their sexuality private.
Ultimately, the decision in the case was disappointing. HOWEVER, what Rich did was give a face AND a voice to SO MANY people in the LGBTQ community that were searching for a role model of strength, integrity and HOPE.
“He is precisely the type of officer you want standing next to you in the heat of wartime battle.” – Lt. Cmdr. Scott Wolfe
Of course, for those of us in the league, the only “battles” we have been involved with him have been on the softball fields, today we salute you Mr. Watson.
Thank you for being a pioneer and standing up, owning your identity – and in the process forging a path that gave many of us the ability to find some of that confidence in ourselves.