Following outcry from the WNBPA over fines levied by the WNBA upon various players for wearing "Black Lives Matter" warm-up T-shirts in protest of controversial police shootings, the WNBA announced Saturday that it would rescind those fines and work in the Olympic games stoppage to find a solution for the league's corporate partners and players.
"While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues," Borders said. "Given that the league will now be suspending play until Aug. 26 for the Olympics, we plan to use this time to work with our players and their union on ways for the players to make their views known to their fans and the public."
Several WNBA players as well as NBA players like Carmelo Anthony expressed frustration regarding the fines, including criticism that the players were fined for wearing such apparel while the league handed out shirts in support of victims from the Orlando massacre in June. The WNBPA released the following statement later Saturday:
We are pleased that the WNBA has made the decision to rescind the fines the league handed down to the players on the Fever, Liberty and Mercury. We look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue with the league to ensure that the players' desire to express themselves will continue to be supported."
The NBA and WNBA are currently trying to find a balance between maintaining discipline when it comes to policies designed to protect agreements with various sponsors and not restricting the free speech rights of the players regarding an emotionally charged issue.