In the aftermath of the numerous police-related shootings, WNBA players from the Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury all wore pro-Black Lives Matter t-shirts during warmups at recent games. In Minneapolis, the shirts caused an uproar among off-duty cops, as they dramatically walked out of a Lynx game.
Despite this reaction, the Lynx players stood by their demonstration and the organization did the same as well. However, since the t-shirts did not comply with uniform guidelines, the WNBA fined the Lynx, Liberty and Mercury on Thursday.
From the Associated Press:
The WNBA has fined the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury and their players for wearing black warm up shirts in the wake of recent shootings by and against police officers.
All three teams were fined $5,000 and each player was fined $500 as the shirts violated the league's uniform policy. While the shirts were the Adidas brand -- the official outfitter of the league -- WNBA rules state that uniforms may not be altered in any way.
WNBA President Lisa Borders said Wednesday night in statement to The Associated Press the fines were not about the players speaking out on a social issue.
"We are proud of WNBA players' engagement and passionate advocacy for non-violent solutions to difficult social issues but expect them to comply with the league's uniform guidelines," Borders said.
In response to the fines, Liberty center Tina Charles wore her t-shirt inside out before a Thursday morning game and she later tweeted that she refuses "to be silent."
A strong stance by Charles to take and one that other WNBA players have echoed on Twitter and social media.
The WNBA is abiding by its rules with the fines but it seems like this is an issue that their players won't be quiet on.