Players have insisted that the fight for racial equality and social justice be a central part of the NBA’s return to play and the WNBA’s new season. Several NBA players considered skipping the NBA’s resumption to focus on social justice issues. Several WNBA players, including Renee Montgomery of the Atlanta Dream and Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics, are sitting out the upcoming WNBA season to focus on social justice.
On a conference call with reporters Friday, leaders of both the NBA and the NBPA said the league and union were discussing several ways to use the NBA’s platform in Orlando to call attention to racial equality, social justice and police brutality. Over the weekend, Chris Paul, president of the players’ union, told ESPN that the league and union were collaborating to allow players to wear uniforms with personalized messages linked to social justice on the backs of their jerseys in place of players’ last names.
WNBA players are also in discussions about painting “Black Lives Matter” on their courts. In addition, the players are reportedly seeking to have “Say Her Name” inscribed on warm-up gear. A reference to Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in her Louisville home in March.