WNBA Players And Teams Fined By The League For Protesting Police Violence. | Gradient

WNBA players and teams fined by the league for protesting police violence.


After the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the assassination of five Dallas police officers, WNBA players and teams stood up against the senseless violence leading to their deaths. Because that stand included all-black warmup tees that failed to comply with league uniform rules, they got fined.

The New York Liberty wore tees that read #BlackLivesMatter and #Dallas5 while the Minnesota Lynx, particularly affected by Philando Castile’s death in nearby Falcon Heights, included a BLM logo and read “JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY START WITH US.” Both teams were warned by the league via a memo reminding them of league uniform policy. 

But, when the Liberty, along with the Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever, responded by wearing black Adidas tees with the slogans and logos removed, each player received a $500 fine. The teams received $5000 fines.

WNBA president Lisa Borders released a statement that praised the players’ “passionate advocacy for non-violent solutions to difficult social issues” while still defending the fine. This, of course, rang hollow to players involved in the protest, like the Mercury’s Mistie Bass:

For what it’s worth, the NBA didn’t fine Derrick Rose, LeBron James and others for wearing “I CAN’T BREATHE” warm up tees. Those shirts, invoking slain black civilian Eric Garner’s last words to the officer that choked him, also failed to meet the uniform rules those men were required to obey.

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