The Seattle Storm are set to appear in the WNBA Finals for the second time in three years.
Seattle forward and 2018 WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart is not only looking forward to getting another chance at hoisting up a championship trophy, but she and her teammates are also looking to continue to push for societal change.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Stewart discussed the need for change.
“We’re in a super important time. The census deadline is the end of this month. The voter registration deadline is coming up. We need to make sure everyone is registered to vote. That’s one way to really make a change.”
Stewart, who averaged 19.7 points and 8.3 rebounds during the regular season, has been one of the most vocal and active WNBA players on social media when it comes to promoting change.
In the NY Times interview, she reiterated that as a WNBA player she should and will use her voice and her platform.
Stewart added, “I think the WNBA has always been at the forefront of this. And, you know, we’re not afraid to speak up and we don’t care if someone doesn’t like us, or doesn’t like what we say. We’re speaking up because that’s what we believe in.”
The league as a whole has also shared in one goal as well: “Say her name”
Each player in the league wears Breonna Taylor’s name on the back of their jerseys and has been an advocate for justice for Taylor.
Stewart spoke on how she felt after finding out that Louisville officials agreed to pay Taylor’s family $12 million to settle their wrongful death lawsuit.
“The verdict on Breonna Taylor’s case is frustrating,” Stewart said. “It’s just sickening news because she deserved justice and she didn’t get it, and her family deserved justice and they didn’t get it, and everyone talks about the settlement but money doesn't have more value than a human life.
“We are not satisfied and we are going to keep going and keep pushing and continue to use our voices, but the biggest way we can create change and make it so this doesn’t happen again is at the ballot box, making sure people are registered to vote, making sure people know who they’re voting into office.”
The 26-year-old also described what life has been like in the WNBA bubble, a.k.a the ‘wubble’ in Bradenton, Florida.
“One thing about the bubble is it’s basketball, 24/7,” Stewart said. “You can easily get kind of caught up in, you know, focusing too much on basketball or like, ‘I’m not doing this well,’ or ‘what can I be doing better?’ And sometimes I could take a moment and be like, ‘I’m just happy that I’m able to play.’ You know, after sitting out last season and coming back from the Achilles’ injury, I’m happy that I’m able to be on this court. If I miss however many shots? That’s what I miss. But I’m still here and able to shoot them.”
Stewart and the Storm will shoot their WNBA Finals shot starting on Friday night with Game 1 of the best-of-five series. Seattle awaits the winner of Tuesday’s Game 5 semifinal matchup between the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Kyle O'Quinn].