WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike said on SportsCenter that players are taking the league’s Thursday slate of games off after opting not to play Wednesday in response to Kenosha police officers shooting Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times in the back on Sunday.
Here’s the full text of the players' statement, delivered by Ogwumike on SportsCenter Thursday afternoon, which explicitly lays out the reasoning behind not playing.
“The players of the WNBA use today (Thursday) to reflect. Following yesterday’s decision to stand in solidarity with NBA players and Black and Brown communities in Wisconsin, and around the country, we will continue demonstrating our solidarity by not playing today.
“It is important to note that this is not a strike. This is not a boycott. This is affirmatively a day of reflection. A day of informed action and mobilization. Through ongoing conversations last night, in person, and discussions through the morning via extensive text messages, we recommitted to the justice movement, the platform for our advocacy, and recommitted to the ‘Say Her Name’ campaign.”
Ogwumike continued with specific calls to action.
“We are doubling down on our previous calls to action to contact your local officials and demand reform, register to vote and show up on Election Day, complete the 2020 Census and be counted.
“Today we call upon Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron to arrest the officers that killed Breonna Taylor. Today we call upon the Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul to investigate the officers who were involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake. Let us not let up seeking justice for Sandra Bland, Michelle Cusseaux, Shelly Frey, Korryn Gaines, India Kager, Kayla Moore, Layleen Polanco, Michelle Shirley and other Black and Brown women who are victims of police violence.
“If you’re watching or listening and you understand the humanity in the movement for Black lives and you recognize that your voice matters, do not remain idle. Demand that your leaders step up and take real action. Do something today.” The WNBA released the following statement, announcing the postponement of Sky-Fever, Wings-Liberty and Aces-Storm:
While there has been no official word on when WNBA games may resume, Ogwumike said on the broadcast that players have decided to continue the season at some point. No details yet on how or when Wednesday and Thursday games will be rescheduled.