The WNBA and its union approved Monday that the players can wear on their shirts the names of the women who died in police interventions or in alleged racial violence when the competition resumes this month in Florida. The names of Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and Vanessa Guillén, already sound like those that could be put on the players’ shirts.
Taylor died after being shot multiple times by police in March while at his home in Louisville, Kentucky. Lonita Baker, Taylor’s family lawyer, said she first heard about the names issue from Las Vegas Aces star Angel McCoughtrey, who played at the University of Louisville.
Soon after, Terri Jackson, WNBPA executive director, contacted her and began formulating plans for how the league and its players could work to honor Taylor.
Besides, the players will also wear warm-up shirts that say “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back. “Black Lives Matter” will also appear on the IMG Academy fields in Bradenton, Florida, where the WNBA has assembled its own “bubble” to kick off the 2020 regular season.
The decisions made this Monday by the WNBA and the union are part of a joint platform promoting social justice called “The Justice Movement.”
As part of this initiative, the WNBA will form a Social Justice Council that will be led by players Layshia Clarendon, Sydney Colson, Breanna Stewart, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, A’ja Wilson and Satou Sabally.