The WNBA has fined the New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever and their players for wearing “black lives matter” statement t-shirts during pre-game warmups in the wake of recent shootings by and against police officers. All three teams were fined $5,000, and each player was fined $500.
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, provided a statement to Associated Press about the matter last night.
“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.”
Back in December 2014, NBA players including Lebron James and Derrick Rose, wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups in honor of Eric Garner who was killed by police. Although Commission Adam Silver made a statement about his preference that players abide the on-court attire rules, he DID NOT fine the players. I wish the WNBA would have done the same.
What do you think? Should athletes be allowed to use their voices (and attire) to address social issues while “in-game”?