WNBA players protested on Wednesday by wearing custom made T-shirts with 7 faux bullet holes on the back, representing the number of times Jacob Blake was shot on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake, who is Black, was shot by a white police officer who was attempting to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant for domestic assault and sex crimes against two minor girls. Blake, 29, survived his injuries but he was paralyzed from the waist down and he will wear a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.
The Washington Mystics lined up at center court on Wednesday in Palmetto, Florida to display their white T-shirts with a letter of Blake’s name on the front to spell out “Jacob Blake.” They embraced one another before kneeling to reveal the back of their shirts.
The Mystics boycotted their game against the Atlanta Dream Wednesday night before taking to the court to protest.
“We wanted everybody to feel like they were supported,” said Ariel Atkins, a guard for the Washington Mystics. “Understanding that this just isn’t about basketball. We aren’t just basketball players and just because we are basketball players, that’s our only platform. We need to understand that when most of us go home, most of us are Black.”
The WNBA announced the remaining two games on the schedule were postponed following the news that the NBA boycotted their games on Wednesday and Thursday. The NBA playoff schedule is expected to resume on Friday night at the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.
The boycotts — for a man who was wanted for molesting two teenage girls — rubbed NBA fans the wrong way. Fans say they are boycotting the playoffs, even though TV ratings for the playoffs were already low.