BRADENTON, Fla. – The WNBA will not play its three games Wednesday night following the shooting of Jacob Blake over the weekend.
The move came hours after the NBA decided to postpone its three playoff games with its players choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.
The Washington Mystics were set to play the Atlanta Dream. Instead, they came into the arena wearing shirts that spelled out Blake’s name on the front and had holes in the back to signify the seven bullets that he was hit with by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“If Jacob Blake was a dog and the police were to shoot him seven times in the same spot, we would have a lot more people up in arms,” noted Chicago Sky head coach James Wade. “I never thought I was a special person growing up and I don’t think I’m a special person now. I would always classify myself as a voiceless person because I know how valued my life really is in society. “
Wade expressed his sentiments minutes after finding out Atlanta would not be playing.
Dream forward Elizabeth Williams read a statement on ESPN saying that the “consensus is not to play in tonight’s games. We stand in solidarity with our brothers in the NBA.
Williams is the secretary of the players’ union.
The league had just passed its halfway mark of the 22-game season. With teams playing pretty much every other day in the bubble the postponed games will most likely have to be made up after the regular season ends on Sept. 12.
The WNBA and its players have dedicated this season to social justice. Players have been wearing the name of Breonna Taylor on the back of the uniforms all season long.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician, was shot eight times by plainclothes Louisville police officers serving a narcotics search warrant at her apartment on March 13. No drugs were found. Her family and protesters around the country have called for swift action against the officers who shot Taylor.
Over the course of the season players have worn warmup shirts that read “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” is featured prominently on the courts where the teams play.