Activism comes with risk, but leave it to women’s professional basketball to embrace that risk. The Minnesota Lynx and New York Liberty spoke out in support of both Black Lives Matter and the Dallas 5.
They had conversations among themselves – black and white, sharing their experiences and talking, really talking, about their personal reality of race in the United States. They went beyond offering social media prayers.
“The only appropriate step now is talk about the things that are needing to be talked about,” Maya Moore said. “That’s one thing we can do. It just didn’t sit right with us to not do something more than feel sorry and sad.”
It takes courage to speak your truth and the costs that come with it can be high for professional athletes. There can be pulled endorsements and teams can be reluctant to sign an “outspoken” player because for the most part teams and leagues like total control.
But when athletes, like the WNBA players, use their platform to open discussions and share their experiences, it provides all of us with the opportunity to become educated and empathetic.