In yet another sign that political activism has become a permanent part of the sports landscape, the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm of the WNBA walked off the court Saturday during the league’s opening game national anthem.
Both teams then held a 26-second moment of silence for Breonna Taylor, the Louisville, KY woman who was killed at her home by police during a botched drug raid. Each player also had Taylor’s name on the back of their jerseys.
“We are dedicating this season to Breonna Taylor, an outstanding EMT who was murdered over 130 days ago in her home,” Liberty player Layshia Clarendon said at mid-court, alongside Storm star Breanna Stewart, before the opening tip-off at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
“Breonna Taylor was dedicated and committed to uplifting everyone around here. We are also dedicating this season to ‘Say Her Name” campaign, a campaign committed to saying the names and fighting for justice of black women – black women are so often forgotten in this fight for justice, who don’t have people marching in the streets for them. We will say her name. Sandra Bland. Atatiana Jefferson. Dominique Remy Fells. Breonna Taylor. We will be a voice for the voiceless.”
The Liberty also donated $25,000 to the African American Policy Forum and the #SayHerName campaign.