The Cleats Network

After more than two months of practice, members of Congress and members of the media — the “Bad News Babes” — faced off on Wednesday at the fifth annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game. It was my great pleasure to cover the event for both the Washington Post and for MSNBC’s “The Cycle.”

While their male counterparts remain divided along party lines — the annual Congressional Baseball Game, which includes almost all men, pits Republicans against Democrats — the softball team is a bipartisan effort.

This game is notorious for its trash-talking, but it’s fostering a spirit of civility in politics. Players say it has allowed them to develop strong personal ties that are reducing antagonism on Capitol Hill, easing gridlock, and slowly overturning the Old Boys’ Clubs of both politics and press.

Sound familiar? We call it the “Cleats Network” — and it is ridiculously fun.

Even better? These ladies raised $125,000 for the Young Survival Coalition, which tends to the unique needs of young women with breast cancer.


Caleb Shirt

Members Line Up

Boehner

At Bat

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If you’re part of top leadership, you need to support this changing environment so that women can thrive. If I were a C.E.O. of a large company I’d be looking seriously at this. I’d be concerned. These women were really seriously preparing themselves to be a stronger part of the future. This could be the engine that drives the American economy forward.”

Pernille Spiers-Lopez, former Ikea Global Chief Human Resources Officer and C.E.O/President of Ikea North America

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