The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is dedicating their 2020 season to social justice, according to a press release issued on Monday (July 6). The league and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) have launched the Justice Movement, a new initiative to continue the conversations surrounding race, LGTBQ+ advocacy, voting rights and other societal issues.
“We are incredibly proud of WNBA players who continue to lead with their inspiring voices and effective actions in the league’s dedicated fight against systemic racism and violence,” said Cathy Engelbert, WNBA Commissioner. “Working together with the WNBPA and the teams, the league aims to highlight players’ social justice efforts throughout the 2020 season and beyond. Systemic change can’t happen overnight, but it is our shared responsibility to do everything we can to raise awareness and promote the justice we hope to see in society.”
According to the press release, the women will wear special uniforms that are designed to pay tribute and demand justice for women who “have been the forgotten victims of police brutality and racial violence,” including the names of Breonna Taylor, Vanessa Guillen and Sandra Bland. The players will also wear warm-up shirts with the words “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back. The words “Black Lives Matter” will also be displayed on the courts during games.
“As many WNBA players — past and present — have said and, more importantly, consistently demonstrated, the reason why you see us engaging and leading the charge when it comes to social advocacy is because it is in our DNA,” said WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike.
“With 140-plus voices all together for the first time ever, we can be a powerful force connecting to our sisters across the country and in other parts of the world. And may we all recognize that the league’s stated commitment to us – in this season and beyond – offers a pivotal moment in sports history,” Ogwumike continued.
The 22-game regular season is set to kick off later this month.