Surprising news broke Monday evening when Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne's request to opt-out of the 2020 WNBA season was declined. The two-time WNBA MVP suffers from Lyme disease, but her condition was not on the CDC's list of underlying conditions that puts someone at additional risk for COVID-19.
Delle Donne's teammate, Mystics guard Natasha Cloud, was also stunned by the league's decision. On Monday evening, Cloud posted an Instagram story in support of Delle Donne, asking the WNBA: "how do you deny someone with Lyme disease?"
Cloud doubled-down on Tuesday, taking to Twitter to express her dismay of the WNBA's decision.
"It’s bull----," Cloud wrote. "@WNBA either play or risk her life...what do we stand for? Cause apparently it’s not the players."
If the league doesn't reverse its ruling, Delle Donne must play the 2020 season to receive her full salary. In her statement Monday, she said she wants to play but her personal physician advises against it.
"I love my team, and we had an unbelievable season last year, and I want to play! But the question is whether or not the WNBA bubble is safe for me," Delle Donne said. "My personal physician who has treated me for Lyme disease for years advised me that I'm at high risk for contracting and having complications from COVID-19."
Cloud, who had a career season for Washington last year, has already decided to opt-out of the 2020 season in order to continue her commitment to raising awareness of social justice issues and the fight for racial equality. The guard signed an endorsement deal with Converse earlier this offseason, and the brand will pay her entire salary this season.
MORE MYSTICS NEWS:
- Title Defense: Mystics' tough schedule
- Bubble Life: What to expect in Florida
- Cloud: Opt out shouldn't be a surprise