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Later this month, the NBA will be returning. The league and National Basketball Players Association have reached an agreement to include the expression ‘Black Lives Matter’ on all three courts where games will be played. Players have expressed the want to keep the focus on social justice even as sports return.
The movement’s expression, which has been created to fight for social justice against racism and police brutality, will be painted on both sidelines of the court at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The WNBA is also discussing painting “Black Lives Matter” on the court when its abbreviated 2020 season begins at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, according to various news sources.
In fact, some WNBA players, such as Angel McCoughtry, have suggested in conversations with league superiors that they wear warm-up jerseys with the expression “Say her name” in an attempt to keep the spotlight on women victims of police brutality. One name at the forefront is Breonna Taylor, who last March, was fatally shot by the police while asleep in her home in Louisville, Kentucky.
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I will be playing this upcoming @wnba and I am looking forward to continue to fight social injustice issues while playing and supporting front line workers. ⠀ ⠀ I am currently working with the @lvaces and @wnba to use our voices, our uniforms, and our sport to continue to impact and create real change. I am creating a petition (LINK IN BIO) to allow players the ability to put the FIRST & LAST NAME of HUMAN BEINGS that who have been injured or KILLED in incidents involving POLICE BRUTALITY! Even Front line workers during the pandemic The goal is also to create a relationship with the families of who’s name the athlete has chosen. This is a way to use our platform to be a helping hand during these trying times. Silence is an ally for EVIL and when sports resume WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. ⠀ ⠀ #SayTheirNames ⠀ #blacklivesmatter ⠀ #thetimeisnow
Chris Paul, president of the players’ union, mentioned players in the league are also seeking ways to fight against racism and remove last names from the backs of uniforms and instead use a statement about social justice.
As the NBA returns and WNBA starts its season, players from both leagues have expressed the need to keep fighting for racial equality and social justice at the center of their leagues.
Furthermore, there have been key players in the WNBA who have opted out of the season in order to keep working in the community in their fight against racism. Those names include Renee Montgomery (Atlanta Dream), Natasha Cloud (Washington Mystics) and Kristi Toliver (Los Angeles Sparks).
Since the death of George Floyd, Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, and more, players from the NBA and WNBA have taken part in various protests across the country, spoken out on their individual social networks, and more.