WNBA games called off second night in a row for a “day of reflection”
WNBA players sit out for a second day
Video courtesy ESPN/SportsCenter
For the second day in a row, WNBA players led the way in halting play as a way to focus on issues of racial injustice and police brutality. Yesterday, after NBA players walked out, the WNBA and other leagues followed, citing recent murders of Black citizens at the hands of police and white supremacists as a major reason for a walkout.
Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike, the president of the player’s union (WNBPA), along with other members of the league’s social justice council, joined ESPN’s Holly Rowe in a special televised segment Thursday afternoon to talk about why players decided to not take the court Thursday and instead have a “day of reflection.”
“This is not a strike. This is not a boycott. This is affirmatively a day of reflection,” Ogwumike said. While she indicated that games would resume Friday, she also reiterated a commitment to focusing on social justice issues at a crucial moment in the nation’s history as tensions run high with ongoing protests in cities and towns from coast to coast.
For Ogwumike continuing the season “doesn’t come without, of course, demands of players to continue to amplify our voices in more ways than when we came here.”
The league’s official statement on the temporary halt in play:
As the WNBA players continue discussions and reflection on recent events, the WNBA announced that the three games scheduled for this evening (Chicago Sky vs. Indiana Fever; Dallas Wings vs. New York Liberty; Las Vegas Aces vs. Seattle Storm) have been postponed.
Information regarding rescheduling of yesterday and today’s games will be provided when available.
The New York Liberty issued a statement shortly after the roundtable:
“As the injustices persist, so does the work.
Today marks what should have been the Liberty’s 4th annual UNITY Day game which is devoted to telling Breonna Taylor’s story and highlighting the #SayHerName campaign. In light of today’s protest, our UNITY Day will be rescheduled at a later date. While we will not take the court today, we will continue to stay loud in our pursuit of justice.
The New York Liberty organization stand in solidarity with our players and demand justice for #JacobBlake, #GeorgeFloyd, #BreonnaTaylor, #AhmaudArbery, and the many human lives affected by brutal police encounters. We will not be silenced.
All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.”