Forget taking a knee during the national anthem. That’s so yesterday.
As far as the WNBA is concerned, the NFL — and now Major League Baseball — can have that protest to themselves.
Instead, the New York Liberty and the Seattle Storm pulled out a new move: They just walked off the court as the national anthem played, EPSN reported.
What’s that now?
During the 2016 NFL pre-season, then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games, and the movement caught on among many of his fellow players and continues to this day.
In the wake of the George Floyd killing and as social justice movements have gathered steam across the U.S., kneeling has become increasingly popular.
Apparently, it has become so popular that it’s now passe, so two WNBA teams decided to take it up a notch and garner more attention.
The Liberty and Storm elected to walk off the court Saturday during the playing of the national anthem before the WNBA season opener at Florida’s Feld Entertainment Center where all of the WNBA’s 22-game regular season will be played.
The players also took time to honor the memory of Breonna Taylor, a Louisville, Kentucky, EMT who was killed in March during a no-knock police search warrant in her home.
Police shot Taylor, 26, during a raid on her home to search for drugs — which were never found. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, believed the cops were home invaders and shot at them, striking one in the leg.
None of the officers involved in Taylor’s killing have been changed in her death.
Before the game, the Liberty’s Layshida Clarendon and the Storm’s Breanna Stewart addressed the cameras to promote the “Say Her Name” campaign and asked for a 26-second moment of silence.
Image source: ESPN video screenshot
WNBA teams are wearing Taylor’s name on their jerseys this year in honor of the young woman and as a call for justice in her death.
As with the NBA, the WNBA is all about social justice this year, ESPN noted:
Social justice is a major part of the season for the WNBA players. The words “Black Lives Matter” are on the courts at Feld. The Social Justice Council on Wednesday held a Zoom call with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, who shared memories of Taylor with the players. Also on the call were Georgia attorney and politician Stacey Abrams and professor Kimberle Crenshaw, who started the “Say Her Name” campaign that raises awareness for Black female victims of police brutality.