The WNBA has reversed their fines against players wearing shirts protesting recent shootings
July 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm
The fines that the WNBA placed on the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury teams and players for breaking uniform rules by wearing black warm-up shirts has now been rescinded.
Last week, the players conducted a media blackout in response to the fines where they refused to talk about basketball and told the media they could ask questions about anything going on in society.
WNBA President Lisa Borders released the following statement regarding the fines:
“All of us at the WNBA have the utmost respect and appreciation for our players expressing themselves on matters important to them. While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues. Given that the league will now be suspending play until August 26th for the Olympics, we plan to use this time to work with our players and their union on ways for the players to make their views known to their fans and the public and we have informed the players that we are rescinding the recently-imposed fines.”
Appreciate our players expressing themselves on matters important to them. Rescinding imposed fines to show them even more support.
— WNBAPrez (@WNBAPrez) July 23, 2016
The WNBA came under criticism for the fines, especially since the many NBA players have done similar things. “I don’t see why there would be a reason for those ladies to get fined,” New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said as reported by The Washington Post. “Everybody has freedom of speech. This is a platform right now where everyone is affected and everyone shows their frustrations in different ways.”
Following the decision to rescind the fines, Tina Charles posted to her Instagram page about continuing to be a voice in the community.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. Thank You @wnbaprez for rescinding the fines. Although this is only phase one, we are looking forward to the support and exploring ways to make a difference in the African-American community, given our platform, and continuing to be a voice to those who are marginalized in our society .
A photo posted by Tina Charles (@tina31charles) on
“Progress is impossible without change,” she said. “And those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
“We commend Lisa Borders for recognizing how the players of the WNBA felt and the sensitive time that we’re living in and being willing to re-evaluate their decision,” New York Liberty President Isiah Thomas said. “We are also very proud of our players the world is seeing what we already knew. They’re truly incredible, thoughtful and talented individuals. Our league, our partners and our society are better because of our players’ willingness to enter the political and social activism arena.”