Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore announced on Wednesday that she will sit out of the 2021 WNBA season. The former MVP last played in 2018, and in recent years has decided to take a step away from basketball in order to focus on her family and fighting for social justice.
Moore's primary goal during her sabbatical from the game was fighting for the release of a wrongly imprisoned man named Jonathan Irons. With her help, Irons' conviction was finally overturned after 23 years, and he was released from prison last summer. Shortly after, Moore and Irons married.
"This journey has been quite wild, so I'm still trying to take that time to really get settled," Moore told "Good Morning America." "We just got married. I'm still planning on taking some rest and really just leaning in to this season of enjoying Jonathan and having this full year."
Moore and Irons will also continue fighting for criminal justice reform, with the goal of making sure this situation doesn't happen to other people.
"I am not the only person that this has happened to," Irons said. "This lawsuit is about publicly exposing what has happened to me, sharing the truth and creating public awareness. And hopefully creating a deterrent to stop this from happening to someone else."
Earlier this week, Irons filed a federal lawsuit against the police officers and the Missouri county where he was convicted. Via the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Jonathan Irons, a Black man now in his 40s, was convicted in 1998 of burglary and the assault on an O'Fallon homeowner, a crime for which his attorneys say he was framed by St. Charles County authorities.
The homeowner in 1997 was shot in the head and arm by an intruder, and the man initially told police he remembered only that the assailant was a Black man, according to the suit.
Irons' attorneys say police manipulated the homeowner into identifying Irons, presented a false confession from Irons and ignored fingerprint evidence.
The lawsuit also alleges O'Fallon officers assaulted Irons during his interrogation.
"Irons now seeks justice for the harm that the Defendants have caused and redress for the loss of liberty and the terrible hardship that he has endured and continues to suffer as a result of the Defendants' misconduct," the complaint states.
"The way you change things is one person at a time, one story at a time," Moore said. "That's what we're really after, redefining what a win is in our justice system."