It was business unusual on Saturday when the New York Liberty and Seattle team players staged a walk-out off the court as the national anthem was playing in the protest to the murder of their fellow player Breonna Taylor on the hands of police officers. The players vowed that this season would be business unusual as the whole season will be dedicated to fighting for the rights of Breonna Taylor and other victims of social injustice. Taylor is a 26-year-old black woman who was shot dead by police officers in her bed when they conducted a no-knock operation at her home. She was not armed, and therefore officers could have just arrested her. It is this social injustice that made players stage a walk back to their locker rooms where they held a few seconds of silence in solidarity with Taylor.
Players said that there are clear injustices levelled towards the black community by police officers and mostly to the black women. For this reason, players said that they would dedicate this season to the campaign dubbed “Say Her Name”. During this campaign, they intend to announce the names of all the heroines that have died on the hands of rogue police officers. They intend to fight for the rights of black women since they believe that black women have been forgotten in the fight for justice. They said that they would be matching to the streets in solidarity with black women as they intend to be a voice to voiceless. What angers the players and ambassadors most is that none of the officers who were involved in Taylor’s death has been arrested or charged. However, according to the Kentucky Attorney General office, the investigation is still ongoing.
The teams have vowed to heighten the level of the protests. They have jerseys with Breonna Tylor inscription which they wore during the last Saturday game and which they have said that they will always wear during other protests. They will also have several protest jerseys bearing the names of other black women who have died on the hands of rogue police officers such as Vanessa Guillen and Sandra Bland. They have vowed to do everything to stop racial discriminations.
These teams have been very instrumental in the fight of social injustices in the country. Recently, they participated in demonstrations that erupted in the country concerning the Black Lives Matter movement. They even criticized their senator for speaking against the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Players said that they are still puzzled with what could have made the police to kill unarmed woman in her home. They described Breonna Taylor as a down to earth woman who was always committed to uplifting the standards of everyone around her. That is why they believe that they could be acting on her betrayal if they fail to dedicate this season to a campaign on saying her name and names of other women who have lost their lives in the hands of police officers. By doing so, they believe that they will be fighting for the rights of black women and that police will heed to their calls and stop racial discrimination. While they always use symbols in protest, this time they vowed to swing to the actions.