On Thursday, the WNBA fined several players for wearing Black Lives Matter tee shirts and the players from the New York Liberty and Indiana Fever responded by staging a bold boycott. The players refused to answer any questions after their game unless the questions were about Black Lives Matter or the fines that had been levied against them.
“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.”
The Liberty’s Tina Charles accepted a Player of the Month award with her jersey inside out, while Indiana Fever star Tamika Catchings told Excelle Sports she would only answer Black Lives Matter questions.
“There’s a lot of other stuff outside of basketball that’s going on that, as a whole, all the players have grabbed a hold of,” said Catchings. “I think it’s important that us as players — being able to utilize our voice, and being able to stand for, and stay united for what matters to us.”
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.
— Excelle Sports (@ExcelleSports) July 21, 2016