*Shortly after the Milwaukee Bucs began a ripple effect of boycotted playoff games throughout the NBA Wednesday over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the Washington Mystics set off the WNBA’s league-wide protest, arriving to the bubble in Bradenton, Florida wearing T-shirts depicting seven holes in the back, representing the location and number of times Blake was shot by police.
Four of the WNBA teams — the world champion Mystics, Atlanta Dream, Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx — were already on site for their games and met for about an hour to make a decision on whether they would play. The Mystics, whose T-shirts in the front also collectively spelled out Jacob Blake’s name, decided they did not want to play, and the other teams then joined them in that decision. The players for those teams then met on court and kneeled in solidarity.
“This isn’t just about basketball. We aren’t just basketball players,” Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins told ESPN broadcaster Holly Rowe. “We’re going to say what we need to say.”
Watch Atkins’ powerful interview below:
WNBA player rep Nneka Ogwumike spoke about having her sisters’ back in their decision to postpone Wednesday’s games.
Early Thursday, Holly Rowe tweeted that the entire WNBA bubble on Wednesday night “organized and participated in a candlelight vigil, where players were encouraged to speak their heart.”
After games were boycotted Wednesday night, the entire @wnba bubble organized and participated in a candlelight vigil. People were encouraged to speak their heart. They are in this together. pic.twitter.com/4MZj64dBlf
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) August 27, 2020