The WNBA has reversed course and rescinded fines levied earlier this week for wearing protest t-shirts during warmups, in violation of the league's warmup policy.
"All of us at the WNBA have the utmost respect and appreciation for our players expressing themselves on matters important to them," league president Lisa Borders said in a statement Saturday. "While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues."
"Given that the league will now be suspending play until August 26th for the Olympics, we plan to use this time to work with our players and their union on ways for the players to make their views known to their fans and the public and we have informed the players that we are rescinding the recently-imposed fines."
The New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Indiana Fever and their players were fined for wearing shirts during warmups in response to the recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers killed during a protest rally.
"We want to be able to use our platforms, use our voices. We don’t want to let anyone silence us in what we want to talk about," WNBA Players Association vice president Tanisha Wright said Thursday. "It’s unfortunate that the WNBA has fined us and has not supported its players."