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Jul 27 2016
by Madeleine Williamson

Fines Rescinded for WNBA #BlackLivesMatter Protest

By Madeleine Williamson - Jul 27 2016

Police brutality and race have been brought to national attention again this summer after police shootings of unarmed African-American men. To show support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, WNBA players wore black shirts before games. However, this was a violation of uniform rules. New York Liberty players were fined $500 each by the league, Teen Vogue reported Sunday.

“The majority of this league is made up of black women, and this is something that directly affects us, so we want to use our voices,” player Tanisha White said at a postgame press conference. 

At the conference, the Liberty players refused to answer questions related to play. Instead, White spoke on the fines, the protest, and #BlackLivesMatter.

Players found the fines unfair in part because no NBA players were fined when they wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in 2014 to protest the killing of Eric Garner.

 “I don’t see any reason for anybody to get fined,” NBA player Carmelo Anthony said to Fusion.

In response to public outcry, the WNBA soon changed their tune and rescinded the fines. “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," President Lisa Borders said.

“We want to be able to use our platforms. We want to be able to use our voices,” White said of the players’ decision to continue speaking out.

Lead photo by Ronald Woan on Flickr

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Madeleine Williamson - DePaul University

Madeleine Williamson is a freshman at DePaul University majoring in journalism and minoring in political science and Spanish. She loves tea, stationery and exploring her new hometown of Chicago.

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