Today, I decided to not be silent in the wake of the @wnba fines against @nyliberty, @indianafever & @phoenixmercury due to our support in the #BlackLivesMatter movement . Seventy percent of the @wnba players are African-American women and as a league collectively impacted. My teammates and I will continue to use our platform and raise awareness for the #BlackLivesMatter movement until the @wnba gives its support as it does for Breast Cancer Awareness, Pride and other subject matters.
Carmelo Anthony put out the call recently for more of his fellow athletes to step up in support of the fight to end police violence against black people. Killer Mike recently did the same, and many members of the rap community responded. Well, now Anthony’s call has been answered by players in the WNBA.
Deadspin reports that despite being fined by the WNBA for wearing clothing in support of Black Lives Matter and recent victims of police killings, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the New York Liberty and Indiana Fever continued to make their voices heard after playing a game yesterday (July 21).
Liberty forward Tina Charles was named the WNBA’s Player of the Month, but wore her team warm ups inside out, refusing to show the branding, as a form of protest. Additionally, New York Liberty players staged a media blackout after the game, only answering journalists’ questions as a team, and refusing to talk about basketball at all. Instead, they would only answer questions that pertained to the issues they wanted to address and were protesting. Charles, Tanisha Wright, and Swin Cash spoke on behalf of the team.
“We feel like America has a problem with the police brutality that’s going on with black lives around here, and we just want to use our voices and use our platform to advocate for that,” said Wright. “Just because someone says ‘Black Lives Matter’ doesn’t mean that other lives don’t matter. People put out this imaginary ‘black lives only matter’ whenever people say, ‘Black lives matter.’ What we’re saying is, ‘Black lives matter, too.’ Period.”
“We really would appreciate if people stopped making our support of Black Lives Matter, an issue that is so critical in our society right now, as us not supporting the police,” added Cash. “There’s a lot of women in this room right now, in the WNBA, who have family members who are in law enforcement… People need to understand that it’s not mutually exclusive. You can support both things.”
Meanwhile, the Indiana Fever were doing the same thing, staging their own media black out. Undoubtedly, this is a powerful move by the women of the WNBA to make their voices heard. We can only hope that once the season rolls around, more NBA players will take note and do the same.
Watch the clip below.