Howard Softball Coach Stands Up Against Her Team’s Mistreatment, Resulting In Her Suspension

By Brianna Theophile, @itsbriannat

Howard University softball coach, Tori Tyson, refuses to stay silent after the mistreatment of her athletes during a game visiting the University of California-Irvine on March 4th, 2023, earlier this month, which resulted in her later suspension. She was initially thrown out of the game after speaking up for her team against this
treatment by an umpire, and is now undergoing a suspension for speaking out. She is now petitioning the NCAA because of this.

Tyson explains her reasoning in a series of videos and tweets, where she says the home plate umpire did not allow her players enough time to warm up between innings. According to her, what really frustrated her was a comment made by the umpire to her freshman catcher who was unaware of the inappropriateness, in which he told her that she was moving too slow.

After being told to keep her protests in until after the game by UCR coach Nikki Palmer, Tyson actually complied despite her frustration. However, she says the following comment was what, ironically, led to her ejection from the game: “This is bigger than softball. Let’s play softball.”

“I own not standing down b/c I won’t show women that a woman especially a black woman has to stand down & shut up.. in a sport made for women, played by women!” Tyson said. “So I demanded an explanation for the initial issue of why he kept ending their warm up, why I was warned & now my ejection…”

Regarding the incident, the NCAA has received numerous complaints, resulting in the following response from them:
The same protocol for processing this ejection/suspension report was followed that has been in place for many years. However, the NCAA Softball Rules Committee can discuss improving protocols related to processing ejection/suspension reports and will take your suggestions into consideration. Unfortunately, there is no appeal process and the NCAA softball playing rules don’t allow for an ejection/suspension to be overturned.

She responded to the situation on Twitter, when she tweeted, “I will not serve this suspension in vein! My babies deserve better! This wasn’t about 90 seconds this was about 1 man impacting the game, de-humanizing my athletes and myself! She tweeted.“I will never stand down on that nor apologize for it!”