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The issue of unity: WNBA

The issue of unity: WNBA

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WNBA

Before last Sunday’s Game 1 of the WNBA Finals in Minneapolis, the Los Angeles Sparks were booed as they left the court and returned to the locker room before the national anthem and again when they returned before tipoff. The Sparks also returned to the locker room during the anthem before Game 2 on Tuesday.

Minnesota Lynx players linked arms on the court during the anthem before Game 1, and lined up on the court as usual for Game 2.

After Game 1, the WNBA Players Association released a statement about the Sparks’ protest that said in part: “This demonstration of support is consistent with who we are as individuals, athletes, teammates, citizens. It is consistent with our mission as a union of players and our core values.

“This is our opportunity to unite rather than divide our country. This is our sole focus.”

Last season, a month before Colin Kaepernick sat and later kneeled during the national anthem, WNBA players talked about police killings, and players on three teams wore T-shirts that addressed the fatal shootings by and of police officers. The WNBA fined players for a violation of uniform rules but rescinded the fines days later.

— Betty Gomes

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