WNBA Players Stage Boycott After Being Fined $5k For Wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ Shirts (Shirts)
On Wednesday, the WNBA came down hard on players who wore ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirts before any games last week, fining the players $5,000, according to the Associated Press.
On Thursday afternoon, the players responded back to the WNBA by staging a protest. Players from the New York Liberty and Indiana Fever, two of the teams that received the fines, refused to take any questions about any subject other than Black Lives Matter, and the WNBA’s response to their protests.
— Excelle Sports (@ExcelleSports) July 21, 2016
“We feel like America has a problem with the police brutality that’s going on with black lives around here, and we just want to use our voices and use our platform to advocate for that,” the Liberty’s Tanisha Wright said according to Deadspin. “Just because someone says ‘Black Lives Matter’ doesn’t mean that other lives don’t matter. People put out this imaginary ‘black lives only matter’ whenever people say, ‘Black lives matter.’ What we’re saying is, ‘Black lives matter, too.’ Period.
We really feel like there’s still an issue here in America. And we want to be able to use our platforms, we want to be able to use our voices, we don’t want to let anybody silence us and what we want to talk about.
It’s unfortunate that the WNBA has fined us and not supported its players.”
New York Liberty’s Tina Charles accepted the Player of the Month award with her uniform inside-out, and explained why she did it via Instagram:
Today, I decided to not be silent in the wake of the @wnba fines against @nyliberty, @indianafever & @phoenixmercury due to our support in the #BlackLivesMatter movement . Seventy percent of the @wnba players are African-American women and as a league collectively impacted. My teammates and I will continue to use our platform and raise awareness for the #BlackLivesMatter movement until the @wnba gives its support as it does for Breast Cancer Awareness, Pride and other subject matters. A photo posted by Tina Charles (@tina31charles) on
Inside Indiana Fever’s locker room, Tamika Catchings stated she would only address questions related to Black Lives Matter as well:
Few of the players also took to Twitter to voice their frustration:
Worried about a cause that speaks to 70% of our league? Yes, we might lose a little. But ever think we might gain more… Respect? #WNBA
— Chiney Ogwumike (@Chiney321) July 21, 2016
The WNBA is fining $5k per team + $500 per player = $33k. Excessive. For using this platform to speak out! Says a lot!
— Skylar Diggins (@SkyDigg4) July 21, 2016