Update (July 7, 2020): After announcing a landmark partnership with Converse last month, WNBA star Natasha Cloud shared on Twitter that the company would be paying her WNBA salary as she moved away from the sport and into social justice efforts. 

Cloud commented under a response to a tweet from Girls Talk Sports TV that reported she decided “to opt out of the 2020 @WNBA season to focus on social justice matters.”

Under the story, Cloud wrote, “They are. On top of paying my contract salary. They’re doing everything they can to support me.”

On June 18 she became the first female athlete to sign a contract with the brand. Converse promoted her work on and off the court, touting her efforts in support of social justice issues. 

“Natasha Cloud most recently shared a powerful piece on @playerstribune against the racial injustices that are affecting Black people in America, and then took to the streets of Philly to demand that message be heard.⁠ ⁠This is one of many reasons we are both proud and humbled to welcome WNBA champion @t__cloud9 to the family,” an Instagram post from the company read. 

Cloud plays for the Washington Mystics and will make a salary of $117,000 for the 2020 season, according to Spotrac. The WNBA is playing a shortened season in Bradenton, Florida, and according to MSN, players started being paid on June 1. 

Other WNBA players, including Atlanta Dream star Renee Montgomery, have decided to opt out of the season for a variety of reasons. Some players do not feel the league has done enough to protect players or adequately justify hosting games during the coronavirus pandemic, MSN reported. 

Cloud and Montgomery have been the first players to say they are not playing specifically to work on social justice causes. 

Original (June 18, 2020): Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud has made history. 

According to 6ABC, Cloud is the first female athlete to sign a contract with Converse.

"It's really crazy. I'm a small-town kid, grew up in Broomall. I was an underdog my whole life, even now in my career, I'm still kind of in that underdog mentality. This is a dream come true," Cloud told 6ABC.

The former St. Joseph's University and Cardinal O'Hara High School student-athlete said the historic moment is a big step for women's sports.

"When you're talking about consistently trying to break down barriers for the next generation of female athletes, this is one of those things," Cloud said. "I'm Converse's first-ever female athlete. And when I say that, I still get chills every single time."

The WNBA champ, who has been an advocate for social justice, recently wrote an article for The Players' Tribune about the current social climate.

"Right now, if we’re being really real? As a black person in America, there’s only one thing that could possibly BE on my mind," she wrote. "It’s fearing for my life, and for the life of every other person who is guilty of nothing more than belonging to a race that this country has been built on oppressing. It’s wanting to stay alive — in a time where the reality for a lot of people is that my staying alive doesn’t matter."

Cloud said she is using her platform to send a message to the people who are staying silent.

"I’m writing this because I have a platform. It may not be the biggest platform in the world, but it’s bigger than a lot of people have," she wrote. "It’s what I’ve got. And the only thing I feel like using that platform for right now is to send a message to the so-called 'neutral' people out there. It’s to tell them that we’re changing up the definitions of some of these words they’ve been hiding behind."

The WNBA star has also been taking part in Black Lives Matter protests. She recently took to Instagram to post a photo of herself at a protest, holding a sign that said "If you're silent, I don't f**k with you."

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tasha Cloud🌩9️⃣ (@t__cloud9) on