The WBNA’s Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks are taking a stand after the violence in Charlottesville.
Wednesday night, the two teams intertwined and locked arms during the national anthem before their game. The action was in response to the white supremacist violence that rocked Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.
League MVP, President of the WNBA Player’s Association, and Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike told ThinkProgress, “We just want to stand united in lieu of the socio-political climate, just to remind everyone that it’s important to stay together in the midst of some tumultuous times.”
The teams join a number of other athletes who’ve protested during the national anthem, a movement sparked by Colin Kaepernick.
Marshawn Lynch, running back for the Oakland Raiders, recently remained seated during the national anthem in a game against the Arizona Cardinals. So far, Lynch has declined to comment on his decision, but his teammates are standing by him.
Lynch’s teammate Jared Cook told the New York Daily News, ‘’I’m proud of him. I think it’s awesome. Everybody has points of discussion after what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it’s important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations we find ourselves in as minorities in this country. That’s why I’m proud of him.”
Mystics guard Natasha Cloud added, “This league, we want to use our voices, we want to use our platform, to send the message that we accept and love every person. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what religion you are, what sexual preference you have. Across the board, we’re human. We’re all supposed to be loved and respected.”