Minneapolis Cops Refuse To Work Minnesota Lynx Games After Team Wore BLM T-Shirts
To be fair, the Minnesota Lynx could wear these shirts every game and only about 47 people in the arena will see it.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 10, 2016
On Saturday, Minnesota Lynx players observed a moment of silence in honor of Philando Castile before tipoff of the game against Dallas at Target Center. Four off-duty Minneapolis police officers were working the game walked off the job after Lynx players held a news conference and then wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts before the game.
“Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, praised them for quitting. “I commend them for it,” he said.
Kroll said the four officers also removed themselves from a list of officers working future games. He did not know who the officers were. “Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games,” he said.
Asked if other officers will fill in for those who quit, Kroll said, “If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there.”
The three-time WNBA champions wore black T-shirts that read “Change starts with us, justice and accountability” and on the back had Philando Castile’s and Alton Sterling’s names along with “Black Lives Matter.”
Kroll criticized Lynx players for their position, citing the “false narratives” in the past two years in which some allegations of police misconduct in the killing of black people was later refuted. “Rushing to judgment before the facts are in is unwarranted and reckless,” he said.
Police sign up for off-duty jobs to work Lynx games, Kroll said. “They can start or stop a job whenever they want,” he said. “They are working on an independent contract.”
Asked about a report that seven or eight officers had walked off the job, Kroll said, “They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw.”
Saturday’s game against the Dallas Wings drew an overwhelming 7,613 fans.