August 26, 2020
News alert: WNBA players sit out Wednesday’s games to protest racial injustice
The players will sit out all three of the WNBA's games on Wednesday, according to a statement read by Atlanta Dream player Elizabeth Williams on ESPN.
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Players and staff from the Washington Mystics and Atlanta Dream kneel together before Thursday’s scheduled game. The teams decided to strike in protest of racial injustice. (via ESPN)
Players of the Washington Mystics and the Atlanta Dream are sitting out tonight’s game to protest continued police violence and racial injustice against Black Americans, according to a statement read by Dream center Elizabeth Williams live on ESPN.
The other two games tonight between the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx and the Connecticut Sun vs. Phoenix Mercury have been canceled by the players as well. The WNBA later announced that Wednesday’s games have been postponed.
“After speaking with representatives from teams playing tonight as well as our WNBPA leadership, the consensus is to not play in tonight’s slate of games and to kneel, lock arms and raise fists during the national anthem,” Williams said. “We stand in solidarity with our brothers in the NBA and will continue this conversation with our brothers and sisters across all leagues and look to take collective action.”
“What we have seen over the last few months and most recently with the brutal police shooting of Jacob Blake is overwhelming, and while we hurt for Jacob and his community, we also have an opportunity to keep the focus on the issues and demand change,” she continued.”
The players’ strike comes days after police officers shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake in the back seven times in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Before the game, it was reported that the Dream and Mystics players had decided to play, but that they would pause the game every seven minutes in protest. However, the players then decided to strike, and they took the court together to announce that plan.
Players from the Mystics have reportedly been leading the way tonight and this season on the league’s social justice efforts. Ahead of tonight’s scheduled game, they entered the arena wearing white t-shirts spelling out Blake’s name with seven red marks drawn on the backs of the shirts to signify the seven times that Blake was shot by police.
We will update this story as we know more.