Major league sports has been taking a stand against racial injustices and police brutality. While the NBA has received most of the attention for their activism especially after refusing to play games in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake; the WNBA players have been doing this work and fighting this fight for years. Unfortunately, all of the WNBA players are not household names like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo; but the players in the WNBA have been making strong statements to keep the focus on the issues at hand.
Players showed up to the stadium wearing shirts spelling out Jacob Blake’s name and painted with seven bullet holes. The WNBA players have been kneeling and some walking out during the anthem since 2017. In 2016, some teams were fined for wearing Black Lives Matter shirts and had to fight to have the fines dropped. The players have hosted town hall meetings, met with leaders, participated in protests and have constantly raised awareness on the issues. These women do this even though they stand to lose more than other athletes when they miss games and are assessed fines. Here are some of WNBA players dedicated to fighting for justice.
Maya Moore: at the height of her career she stepped away from basketball to help overturn the conviction of Jonathan Irons. She is an advocate for criminal justice reform and defunding the police.
Nneka Ogwumike: she is the president of WNBAPA and says that activism is part of the WNBA DNA. She is a strong advocate for causes involving racial and gender equality.
Natasha Cloud: after winning a championship she opted out of the season to fight for racial justice. She is also using her platform to encourage people to vote in this year’s election.
Renee Montgomery: she opted out of the season to work on her foundation-Renee Montgomery Foundation, which educates voters and provides grants to students from HBCUs.
Candace Parker: she has used her platform to fight for racial justice and gender equality.
These ladies and more in the WNBA have been working and will continue to do work to fight for justice, against racism and to bring real change to the country. They will continue meeting with decision-makers, participating in protests, speaking their mind and using their platform until everyone feels safe and equal. Keep fighting the good fight WNBA!