WNBA players are choosing not to take the court for a second day in a row following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, WI who was shot seven times in the back by local authorities. WNBA players are not calling it a strike or boycott, but a day of reflection and call to action after the basketball world stopped on Wednesday and demanded accountability for the disproportionate use of deadly force against Black Americans .
Players appeared on SportsCenter locking arms while wearing black t-shirts that read “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.” WNBA players continue to be out front in the movement for social justice.
I've said multiple times that this has been the most extraordinary WNBA season I can remember, and it just got more extraordinary pic.twitter.com/sW98EcLV0a— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 27, 2020
The WNBA players decided to sit out on Wednesday in solidarity with a movement started by the Milwaukee Bucks, who chose not to take the court against the Orlando Magic. WNBA players created a powerful moment later in the day when they appeared on TV wearing white shirts that spelled out Blake’s name.
On the back of the shirts was seven dot to signify the number of bullets fired into his back by police officers.
Washington Mystics players wore shirts to bring attention to Jacob Blake.— SB Nation (@SBNation) August 26, 2020
The shirts had seven dots on the back, representing the seven gunshots that police fired at Blake. pic.twitter.com/svCtf3FJ2w
Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins also gave a moving speech on ESPN following the players’ decision not to play. Atkins spoke about the need for Black children to see that their lives matter and be given an opportunity to grow up and accomplish their dreams.
“Just because we are basketball players doesn’t mean that’s our only platform. When most of us go home, we’re still Black.”
WNBA players and coaches held a candlelight vigil on Wednesday to talk about their emotions and how they can continue to support the movement for significant police reform.
Players have been continuing to speak out on social media:
Gotta demand it— A'ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) August 26, 2020
Where are black women safe?— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) August 25, 2020
Where are black men safe?
I am proud of all the pro sports that sat out today! They don’t want us to unite...there’s so much power in our voices and platforms. Imagine them together as a united front for justice.— Natasha Cloud (@T_Cloud4) August 27, 2020