WNBA Postpones Thursday's Games to Protest Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Members of the Connecticut Sun team kneel during the playing of the national anthem before a WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

For the second day in a row, the WNBA postponed its scheduled regular-season games as athletes weigh more drastic forms of activism following the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

WNBA players link arms while wearing shirts in support of Breonna Taylor and announce no games will be played today as they take time to reflect, but they will continue the season (via @SportsCenter) https://t.co/B2RlQYlFUb

Los Angeles Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike, who's also the president of the Women's National Basketball Players Association, explained the move to ESPN's Holly Rowe.

"The players of the WNBA used today to reflect," Ogwumike said. "This is not a strike. This is not a boycott. This is a day of action."

The Milwaukee Bucks declined to take the court for their NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic.

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: https://t.co/jjGEyVcCmB

With more protests looming, the NBA postponed all of its games for Wednesday.

WNBA players followed the Bucks' lead as well. Members of the Washington Mystics wore shirts with seven markings on the back to reference the shooting of Blake.

Washington Mystics @WashMystics

"We're not just basketball players. We're so much more than that." Ariel Atkins with a powerful statement on the unified decision to not play tonight. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/Eg96KMqsFh

Atlanta Dream star Elizabeth Williams, the WNBPA's secretary, read a statement on behalf of her colleagues:

Atlanta Dream @AtlantaDream

Center @E_Williams_1 reads statement on @espn as the representative for all @WNBA players. Tonight's games have been cancelled. https://t.co/xDz4uCQSiD

In laying out its plan for the 2020 season, the WNBA said it would focus on social justice and encourage players to be vocal in pushing for change. The back of every player's jersey bears the name of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her apartment by Louisville, Kentucky, police in March.

The killings of Taylor and George Floyd sparked nationwide protests, and the shooting of Blake has deepened. the pain Black people are experiencing.

A video showed two officers from Kenosha, Wisconsin, following Blake with their guns drawn as he approached the driver's side door of a gray SUV. Upon Blake opening the door, one officer grabbed the bottom of his tank top, and police opened fire from close range.

The bullets severed Blake's spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.