WNBA players to wear names of women such as Breonna Taylor on jerseys

The WNBA, long the most progressive league in US sports, says its players will wear the names of women who have been killed by police or in racial violence when the season resumes later this month.

Players will also wear warm-up jerseys reading “Say Her Name” and “Black Lives Matter”.

The league said “teams will wear special uniforms to seek justice for the women and girls, including Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Vanessa Guillen and many more who have been the forgotten victims of police brutality and racial violence.”

“We are incredibly proud of WNBA players who continue to lead with their inspiring voices and effective actions in the league’s dedicated fight against systemic racism and violence,” said the WNBA commissioner, Cathy Engelbert. “Working together with the WNBPA and the teams, the league aims to highlight players’ social justice efforts throughout the 2020 season and beyond. Systemic change can’t happen overnight, but it is our shared responsibility to do everything we can to raise awareness and promote the justice we hope to see in society.”

The president of the WNBA’s players association, Nneka Ogwumike, said the decision has significance across the world.

“As many WNBA players–past and present–have said and, more importantly, consistently demonstrated, the reason why you see us engaging and leading the charge when it comes to social advocacy is because it is in our DNA,” said Ogwumike. “With 140-plus voices all together for the first time ever, we can be a powerful force connecting to our sisters across the country and in other parts of the world. And may we all recognize that the league’s stated commitment to us – in this season and beyond – offers a pivotal moment in sports history.”

WNBA players have often been at the forefront of social justice. Four-time WNBA champion Maya Moore took a year off from the league to help lead a successful campaign to free Jonathan Irons, a black man she believed had been wrongly imprisoned on burglary and assault charges.


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