In the fight for greater justice and against systemic racism, female athletes in the fields of soccer and basketball have gone further than their male counterparts in support of people like Colin Kaepernick, who was punished by the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem. The recent protests have emboldened more male football and baseball players to take a stand but some are trying to not offend Trump. In the opening game of the baseball season, players from both teams knelt before the game and made other gestures of support of the Black Lives Matter protests but then stood for the national anthem.
But the members of the two WNBA teams went further.
The New York Liberty and Seattle Storm made a statement before tipping off the WNBA season on Saturday at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Both teams left the court and returned to their locker rooms during the pre-game playing of national anthem in protest of racial and social injustice, then held a 26-second moment of silence in memory of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old certified EMT who was shot to death by plainclothes police officerswhile asleep in her Louisville apartment in the early hours of 13 March.
As the national anthem was played, the @nyliberty and @seattlestorm walked off the floor as part of the social justice initiative. pic.twitter.com/VihH5X3Yzh
— ESPN (@espn) July 25, 2020
“We are dedicating this season to Breonna Taylor, an outstanding EMT who was murdered over 130 days ago in her home,” Liberty point guard Layshia Clarendon said at mid-court alongside Storm star Breanna Stewart. “Breonna Taylor was dedicated and committed to uplifting everyone around here.
“We are also dedicating this season to ‘Say Her Name’ campaign, a campaign committed to saying the names and fighting for justice of black women – black women are so often forgotten in this fight for justice, who don’t have people marching in the streets for them.
“We will say her name. Sandra Bland. Atatiana Jefferson. Dominique Remy Fells. Breonna Taylor. We will be a voice for the voiceless.”
Taylor’s full name appeared on the back of both teams’ jerseys during Saturday’s game as part of a campaign that will honor female victims of police violence, including Sandra Bland and Vanessa Guillen.
We’ll have to see what happens when the football season starts. It will be interesting to see whether entire teams or even some of the members actually kneel during the anthem, knowing that it will drive Trump crazy.
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