By: Erica M. Ponder
Women of the Women’s National Basketball Association have also taken a stand in the “Black Lives Matter” movement, but unfortunately, this stand was not initially appreciated and accepted. The WNBA made a decision that players who went against league uniform rules as a way to show solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter” movement were fined as a form of punishment.
WNBA President Lisa Borders look to Twitter on Saturday to announce their support for players taking this stance:
According to NBC News, members of the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury were fined $5,000 each for their participation in the protest. Additionally, each player was fined $500 for wearing black t-shirts during pre-game warm-ups.
They were protesting the recent deadly police shootings involving innocent, African-American men.
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) July 22, 2016
Players were clearly very upset about being punished for what they felt was freedom of expression.
Tina Charles, New York Liberty center, said she “refuses” to be silent in the wake of such injustices.
— Tina Charles (@tinacharles31) July 21, 2016
Although the act of defiance was initially viewed as disrespect by WNBA staff and officials, Borders recognized the importance behind the protest. She expressed that “All of us at the WNBA have the utmost respect and appreciation for our players expressing themselves on matters important to them. While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues.”
After a public outcry in support of the women, the fines were rescinded.
Appreciate our players expressing themselves on matters important to them. Rescinding imposed fines to show them even more support.
— WNBAPrez (@WNBAPrez) July 23, 2016
We send a special thank-you to these lady athletes for standing up for what they believe in!