WNBA players walk off court during national anthem


As the national anthem was being played prior to the WNBA’s season-opening game between the Seattle Storm and the New York Liberty, all players from both teams returned to their respective locker rooms as a sign of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Also before the start of the game, the two teams participated in a 26-second moment of silence in remembrance of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by police in her Louisville, Ky., home in March.

The league has been transparent in its support for Black Lives Matter. “Black Lives Matter” is printed on all of the league’s courts, and players before the game sported black warmups with the phrase on them as well.

Players across most of the country’s professional sports leagues have shown their support for the movement by either kneeling or wearing Black Lives Matter-inspired warmups.

The movement was regalvanized at the end of May when George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

While all of the former officers involved in Floyd’s death have been arrested and criminally charged, the trio of officers responsible for Taylor’s death have not been fired from the Louisville police force, nor have they been charged with crimes.

The WNBA season, like the rest of American sports, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Each team will play an abbreviated 22-game schedule. All games will be played inside a social bubble at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.





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