There will be no WNBA basketball for a second straight night. Early on Thursday afternoon, the league announced that all three games -- Chicago Sky vs. Indiana Fever, Dallas Wings vs. New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces vs. Seattle Storm -- have been postponed. Decisions about rescheduling will be provided at a later date.
On Wednesday, players across all major sports refused to take the court and field in protest of further police violence. Specifically, players were upset about the shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee Bucks, were the first team to make a stand, refusing to come out to the court for Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic. A short time later, all NBA games for the day were postponed. Some MLB and MLS teams followed suit, and eventually the WNBA did as well.
Originally, WNBA players decided they were going to play on Wednesday night, with a plan to protest at the seven-minute mark of each quarter. At that time, they were going to put the ball down and pause, with the time on the clock representing the seven times Blake was shot.
However, when they went back to their locker room, the Washington Mystics decided as a team that they couldn't play the game, and the other teams scheduled to play on Wednesday night stood with them in solidarity. Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams read a statement on TV which said, in part:
"After speaking with representatives from teams playing tonight, as well as our WNBPA leadership, the consensus is to not play in tonight's slate of games, and to kneel, lock arms and raise fists during the national anthem. We stand in solidarity with our brothers in the NBA, and will continue this conversation with our brothers and sisters across all leagues, and look to take collective action."
It is not yet clear if the WNBA players will resume their season, or when. During an interview with ESPN on Wednesday night, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the league stood with the players, but also made it clear she wished to continue playing. The league released the following statement on Thursday:
As the WNBA players continue discussions and reflection on recent events, the WNBA announced that the three games scheduled for this evening (Chicago Sky vs. Indiana Fever; Dallas Wings vs. New York Liberty; Las Vegas Aces vs. Seattle Storm) have been postponed.
Information regarding rescheduling of yesterday and today's games will be provided when available.
The players have dedicated the 2020 season to social justice, and have been wearing Breonna Taylor's name on their jerseys. They've also been wearing special warm-up shirts, had Black Lives Matter painted on the court and have formed a social justice council to make sure their efforts go beyond just this season.