WNBA Players Walk Out on Anthem
While other pro athletes are taking the knee at the start of their games, WNBA players walked out even before a single note of the national anthem could be played.
Ballers from both the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm trooped back to the locker rooms where they held a brief moment of silence for Breonna Taylor, to whom they are dedicating this season.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Afrian American emergency medical technician, was fatally shot by Louisville police in her own home in March.
More than four months have passed since the unfortunate, middle-of-the-night raid, but justice has been elusive. Not one of the policemen who ‘miscalculated’ their moves that night have been formally charged, let alone convicted.
“We are dedicating this season to Breonna Taylor, an outstanding EMT who was murdered over 130 days ago in her home,” declared Liberty point guard Layshia Clarendon. “We are also dedicating this season to ‘Say Her Name’ campaign, a campaign committed to saying the names and fighting for justice of black women -- black women are so often forgotten in this fight for justice, who don’t have people marching in the streets for them.
According to the New York Times, Clarendon and the rest of the WNBA players promised to be “a voice for the voiceless.”
But that’s not all.
In a statement, the WNBA assured that the walk-off is just one part of season-long initiatives collectively called the Justice Movement.
The promise is “to be a driving force of necessary and continuing conversations about race, voting rights, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and gun control amongst other important societal issues.”
Surely, not a lot of people will feel comfortable about athletes bringing politics on-court.
But one mother is cognizant and grateful for their efforts.
Breonna’s mom, Tamika Palmer, is thankful for the players who are amplifying her calls for justice, which have largely fallen on deaf ears.
“ What is being done by the NBA and the WNBA is amazing,” she said. “Now, it’s time for the attorney general to listen, to charge everyone responsible for Bree’s murder and to get overdue justice.”
Now, at least according to Palmer’s lawyer, the players have promised to continue using their platforms to protest injustice -- and push for the arrest of Breonna’s ‘killers.’