WNBA teams join protest; Wed. games postponed

    Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

WNBA teams joined others across sports in protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with all three games scheduled for Wednesday night postponed.

The three games were between the Atlanta Dream and defending WNBA champion Washington Mystics, the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx, and the Connecticut Sun and Phoenix Mercury.

The NBA’s three games Wednesday also were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks did not take the floor for their game against the Orlando Magic. Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds also postponed their game.

“We stand in solidarity with our brothers in the NBA, and will continue this conversation with our brothers and sisters across all leagues and look to take collective action,” said the Dreams’ Elizabeth Williams. “What we have seen over the last few months, and most recently with the brutal police shooting of Jacob Blake, is overwhelming. And while we hurt for Jacob and his community, we also have an opportunity to keep the focus on the issues and demand change.

“These moments are why it’s important for our fans to stay focused, hear our voices, know our hearts, and connect the dots from what we say to what we do.”

The WNBA has made social justice the primary platform for its 2020 season in its bubble in Bradenton, Florida, with players wearing Breonna Taylor’s name on the backs of their jerseys.

Taylor, a Louisville woman killed by police after a no-knock raid on her home in March, and other women who have been killed or wounded in police shootings have been a focus of the WNBA and the “Say Her Name” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness for them.

Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by police on Sunday, his father, also named Jacob Blake, has said. Blake was shot as he attempted to enter the driver’s side door of his vehicle with three of his children inside.

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