Summary List PlacementLong before arriving in the WNBA’s bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, the league’s players resolved to devote their 2020 season to Breonna Taylor.
Now, 195 days after her death and one day after a grand jury neglected to charge any of the three police officers who fatally shot her, the players are speaking out.
Prior to the Minnesota Lynx’s and Seattle Storm’s WNBA playoff semifinal matchup Thursday night, Lynx superstar Napheesa Collier read a statement in response to the sentencing in Taylor’s case on behalf of all of the players in the league.
“Our hearts are with Ms. Tamika Palmer,” Collier began. “It has been 195 days since her daughter, Breonna Taylor, was killed.”
“We strongly support the sentiment expressed by the family of Breonna Taylor,” she continued. “The result is outrageous and offensive.”
On Wednesday, it was announced that the grand jury in Taylor’s case had declined to indict officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove in relation to her death. All three fired gunshots on the night of March 13, when they employed a botched no-knock warrant at the wrong apartment. Taylor was shot and killed. The 26-year-old EMT was asleep in her own home when she was shot.
Hankison, who was fired from the department, was charged with wanton endangerment for firing into a neighboring apartment.
The city of Louisville settled a wrongful death suit with Taylor’s family for $12 million.
But given that Taylor’s case has become a rallying point in the call against police brutality and racial inequity, the grand jury’s decision sparked protests across the United States.
The WNBA and its players have a long history of advocacy. The league has followed through on its promise to devote the season to raising awareness and seeking justice for Black women like Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and more who have been victims of police brutality and violence.
Players have worn “Black Lives Matter,” “Say Her Name,” “VOTE!,” and “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” T-Shirts during warmups and throughout the season. Additionally, every player’s jersey features Taylor’s full name under their own surname.
Collier finished the players’ statement by vowing to not “stop pressing for full transparency and full and complete justice.”
“There are far too many questions left unanswered,” she added. “Justice is on the ballot. Please register today and vote on or before November 3.”
Check out the WNBA players’ full statement read by Collier below:
.@PHEEsespieces gives a statement on behalf of the players of the WNBA. #SayHerName @AAPolicyForum pic.twitter.com/aUfUPqykb4 — WNBA (@WNBA) September 24, 2020
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