Taylor, a Black ER technician, was shot and killed by Louisville police in March while she was asleep in her apartment. Clarendon and Stewart are two leaders of the league's new Social Justice Council. WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike said in the announcement, "As many WNBA players - past and present - have said and, more importantly, consistently demonstrated, the reason why you see us engaging and leading the charge when it comes to social advocacy is because it is in our DNA". We are also dedicating this season to "Say Her Name" campaign, a campaign committed to saying the names and fighting for justice of black women - black women are so often forgotten in this fight for justice, who don't have people marching in the streets for them.
On Saturday, players from the Storm and the Liberty headed for their locker rooms while the national anthem played at the WNBA bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. "And I've created my platform through being a basketball player and getting myself to this position", Stewart said on a recent Zoom call. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. "We're not just slapping her name on a shirt and being like, 'Here we go.' We're doing it alongside her mother".
WNBA teams have engaged in similar forms of protest over the years, including kneeling and linking arms during the anthem.
Also as part of their bigger-picture messaging this season, WNBA players are advocating voting rights. Indiana Fever players knelt during the 2016 playoffs to protest the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling and to support quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the anthem before National Football League games.
The WNBA's Seattle Storm and New York Liberty teams walked off the court during the playing of the national anthem before the season-opening game on Saturday afternoon. "But I think it's just kind of closing the circle on the return". And we really wanted to take advantage of that and continue to highlight things that we need to be better in this world.