WNBA to honor social justice movements, Black Lives Matter throughout 2020 season
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The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) plan to honor social justice movements, including Black Lives Matter, throughout the 2020 season. 

The WNBA and WNBPA announced Monday that they will dedicate the season to social justice movements by creating a platform called The Justice Movement and a social justice council. 

The WNBA season begins in late July at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., with a weekend of competition that is "centered around the Black Lives Matter movement," during which teams will wear uniforms asking for justice for women such as Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police in Louisville, Ky., and Spc. Vanessa Guillén, a U.S. soldier whose remains were found Sunday. 


Players will wear warmup jerseys throughout the season that display “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back. “Black Lives Matter” will also be “prominently displayed” on the courts during games.

The social justice council will host conversations, roundtables and podcasts covering inequality, implicit bias and systemic racism. The council also aims to be a “driving force” for conversations about race, voting rights, LGBTQ rights and gun control, according to a release. 

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement that the association is “incredibly proud” of players “who continue to lead with their inspiring voices and effective actions in the league’s dedicated fight against systemic racism and violence.”

“Working together with the WNBPA and the teams, the league aims to highlight players’ social justice efforts throughout the 2020 season and beyond,” she said. “Systemic change can’t happen overnight, but it is our shared responsibility to do everything we can to raise awareness and promote the justice we hope to see in society.”

The council will be led by players, including Layshia Clarendon, Sydney Colson, Breanna Stewart, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, A’ja Wilson and Satou Sabally. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter Alicia Garza, CEO of Rock the Vote Carolyn DeWitt and founder and CEO of Black Girls Rock! Beverly Bond have agreed to advise the players.

The NBA will also have players wear jerseys with social justice messages, ESPN reported last week.