Given the on-field protests that were seem throughout the NFL on Sunday, it was expected that both WNBA Finals participants would engage in similar shows of solidarity.
That they did as the last few years, WNBA teams have been at the forefront of protests throughout sports in standing up for social change. From the wearing of black shirts to support Black Lives Matter to protesting against travel ordinances at airports, to women’s rights rallies outside arenas–there’s no shortage of “woke” among women’s ballers.
The Los Angeles Sparks remained in their locker room as the National Anthem was playing prior to the start of Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. The Minnesota Lynx’s players and coaches were on the court but turned their backs to the monitor with arms locked in unison.
The WNBPA, of which the Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike serves as its president, released this statement along with player representatives Chelsea Gray and Jantel Lavender.
— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) September 24, 2017
Even prior to the WNBA Finals tipping off, Chiney Ogwumike also voiced her opinion to let everyone know that the outcry of some people that athletes should “stay in their lane” is not going to cut it now – or ever.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) September 23, 2017