WNBA players voted to sit out their games Wednesday in the Bradenton bubble, making the decision after the Bucks set off a wave of NBA playoff postponements with a boycott of their game vs. the Magic in the Orlando bubble.
The WNBA group also demonstrated at center court of the IMG Academy site, with each person taking a knee. Members of the Washington Mystics wore shirts that spelled out the name of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. Each of the shirts had seven bullet holes painted on the back, to mark the seven shots that struck Blake in his back.
“This is the reason for the 2020 season,” Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams read in a statement during a live interview on ESPN. “It is on our DNA. We have been saying her name. We are lifting the names of Black and brown women whose murders have been forgotten.
“We will continue to use our platform to speak of these injustices that are still happening and demand action for change. Black lives matter. Say her name. . . . Say his name.”
MORE: Bucks players call for “justice for Jacob Blake”
“We have cousins, we have brothers, we have sisters, mothers, everyone. We matter,” Mystics guard Ariel Atkins told ESPN’s Holly Rowe. “And I think that’s important. I think people should know that. I’m tired of telling people that.
“I know I matter. We know we matter (gesturing to her teammates). I’m tired of telling people that. If you don’t know that, if you don’t think that, then you need to recheck it. And if you have a problem with us saying Black lives matter, you need to check your privilege. Because, yes, all lives matter, including the Black lives we’re talking about. Yes, we matter, and I think that’s important and people need to know that.”
The league announced that the boycotted games had been postponed. No makeup dates have been announced.