WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx T-Shirts Upset Cops, Walk Off Security Posts At Game In Protest
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Athletes across all sports are becoming more vocal about the disturbing police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
For the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, the shooting of Castile, a native of St. Paul, MN, the tragedy hit close to home. In an effort to seek change, members of the team wore black warm-up shirts that said, “Change starts with us. Justice and accountability” on the front. (Accountability is a Lynx team mantra.) The back of the shirts featured the names of Castile and Sterling, the Dallas Police Department shield and, at the bottom, “Black Lives Matter.”
The shirts were not received well by four off-duty police officers who were providing security for the Minnesota Lynx home game Saturday as they chose to have a protest of their own and walked off the job after pregame comments by some of the players.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the president of the Minneapolis Police Federation is in full support of the officers walking away from their security posts for the game in response to the players’ stance.
“I commend them for it,” said Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Kroll also suggests that those officers may not be the last to take such a stand.
Lynx spokeswoman Ashley Carlson revealed that the players would not be wearing clothing with Black Lives Matter against the Stars in San Antonio, but stressed that the Lynx and WNBA were saddened by the recent shootings in St. Paul, Baton Rouge and Dallas and that the players’ message was one that mourned the loss of life.
“If we take this time to see that this is a human issue and speak out together, we can greatly decrease fear and create change,” the Lynx’s Maya Moore said during a news conference prior to Saturday’s game. “Tonight we will be wearing shirts to honor and mourn the losses of precious American citizens and to plead for change in all of us.”
“If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there.”
The police response is confusing, especially since the Lynx were mourning the loss of life for ALL, including the police officers.
It is more than clear that the police’s main issue is the support for the Black Lives Matter movement and a clear line has been drawn.
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