August 31, 2020 

Connecticut Sun return to play with a plea to keep the conversation going

The games resume, the work on racial justice continues

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During the National Anthem before the Connecticut Sun’s August 28 game against the Los Angeles Sparks, the Sun’s players and coaches knelt, each holding a word of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote. 

The quote, which was chosen by the team, read: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” 

After the game, which fell on the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, Brionna Jones explained what went into the planning and decision making of this display.

“Sitting out the last two games to recommit ourselves to our action plan of why we’re here, I think it was important for us to stand in solidarity with the marches happening in D.C. and just show our support that way and just continued to be a voice,” Jones said. “I think that was important for us to be able to do that tonight during the National Anthem.”

The chosen quote means everything to Alabama native DeWanna Bonner who said, “It cuts deep in the heart, it runs deep in the heart. Just something I stand for, something I stand on. The meaning behind it is just something that for me personally I take a lot of pride in and I wanted to hold that sign for pride. It was a touching moment before the game.”

Overall, Bonner said the last several days have been filled with sadness for her and her teammates, along with the league at large.

“Just a sad world we live in right now. It was extremely important for Connecticut and the WNBA to take a stand … There has to be a change … No matter what these games are and how it goes, that’s what I’m here for, that’s what we’re here for and we’re going to keep standing for it.” 

Prior to its game against the Sparks, the Sun had not played since August 22 after a scheduled break and the decision to not play on August 26 and 27.

Bonner noted the extra rest was good for their bodies, but it was under unfortunate circumstances that they received it.

“It’s kind of like coming back with a little bit of heavy heart you’re kind of like, ah, do we want to play,” she said. “Like basketball is not important, but this is our job, but we’re here for a different reason.”

Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been a contributor to The Next since February 2019 and currently writes about the Atlantic 10 conference, the WNBA and the WBL.

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