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John Wall, Bradley Beal among Wizards, Mystics players calling on people to register to vote

John Wall, Bradley Beal among Wizards, Mystics players calling on people to register to vote

There are 100 days before the 2020 presidential election, and practically every Wizards and Mystics player took to Twitter on Sunday to make sure you knew that. 

John Wall, Bradley Beal and Natasha Cloud were among players to post a video featuring several players speaking out and provided links for people to register to vote. 

Did you know that about 20% of eligible Americans that can vote in this year's election have not even registered?" the players said in a collective video. "So much is happening right now in our neighborhoods, in our communities and in our country. Voting is a direct way. You can elect leaders who reflect your values and bring changes you want to see."

A number of players also quoted the late John Lewis, a civil-rights leader who passed away on July 17. 

"The vote is the most POWERFUL nonviolent tool we have," Cloud and Ian Mahinmi wrote. 

RELATED: WIZARDS REVEAL SOCIAL JUSTICE T-SHIRTS PROMOTING VOTER ACTIVATION

“The vote is precious. It’s almost sacred, so go out and vote like you never voted before," Ish Smith and Johnathan Williams said. 

Other players to get involved in this call to action include Tianna Hawkins, Emma Meessemen, Alaina Coates and Essence T. Carson. 

The Wizards and Mystics have been incredibly active within their community, including when they led a Black Lives Matter protest through Washington D.C. on Juneteenth.

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Here's which WNBA players are opting out of the 2020 season in Bradenton, Florida

Here's which WNBA players are opting out of the 2020 season in Bradenton, Florida

The WNBA is gearing up to hold its entire 2020 season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla

But as the coronavirus pandemic continues and many athletes were thrust into advocacy during the break, several athletes have chosen to sit out for the season. 

The health risks for some athletes - and the risk of bringing the virus back home to their families - are not worth it for some. With all the protests and social unrest in the country following the killing of George Floyd, many WNBA stars believe that the best place for them is in their local communities. For them, the time is now to focus on tangible change within society's constructs and addressing other issues of race. Playing basketball would take them away from that.

Unlike many other leagues, the WNBA and the players negotiated that the players will earn 100% of their contracted salaries for the season, despite the lost time.

As a part of the league's and player's agreement on a new season, all players who are considered 'at-risk' for the virus and chose to not participate will receive full pay. Other athletes who are not 'at-risk' can still opt-out with no penalty but will not receive their salary throughout the season.

RELATED: NATASHA CLOUD'S SEASON OPT-OUT SHOULD NOT BE A SURPRISE

Here are the players who announced they are not playing in the condensed 22-game WNBA season. All players have reportedly until June 25 to decide if they will play. That deadline has been extended according to multiple reports. 

ATLANTA DREAM

-Renee Montgomery, G (advocacy)
-Tiffany Hayes, G (advocacy)

CONNECTICUT SUN

-Jonquel Jones, C (health)

LAS VEGAS ACES

-Liz Cambage, C (health)

LOS ANGELES SPARKS

-Kristi Toliver, G (health)
-Chiney Ogwumike, F/C (health)

MINNESOTA LYNX

-Maya Moore, G (advocacy)* announced in January
-Cecilia Zandalasini, F (personal reasons)

NEW YORK LIBERTY

-Rebecca Allen, G/F (health)
-Asia Durr, G (health)

PHOENIX MERCURY

-Jessica Breland, F (health)

SEATTLE STORM

-Head coach Dan Hughes (health - high risk)

WASHINGTON MYSTICS

-Natasha Cloud, G (advocacy)
-LaToya Sanders, F (health)
-Tina Charles, C (health)

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Natasha Cloud rips WNBA's decision to decline Elena Delle Donne's opt-out request

Natasha Cloud rips WNBA's decision to decline Elena Delle Donne's opt-out request

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.

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