All three arenas used by the NBA at the Walt Disney World Resort when the league resumes the 2019-20 season late next month in Orlando, Florida, will feature “Black Lives Matter” painted on the courts inside both sidelines.
The decision, reached collectively by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, is expected to be mirrored by the WNBA when its shortened 2020 season begins at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, ESPN reported.
Sources also told the sports news network that some WNBA players have suggested that players wear warm-up shirts with “Say Her Name” on them in a bid to keep attention focused on female victims of police brutality, including Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in her Louisville, Kentucky, home in March.
According to ESPN, players in both leagues have been insistent that the ongoing “fight for racial equality and social justice” play a central role in their return to the courts.
In fact, several NBA players have considered skipping the reimagined season to focus on social justice issues, and at least two WNBA players, Renee Montgomery of the Atlanta Dream and Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics, have already announced they will sit out the upcoming season for that purpose.
According to The Hill, NBA officials said on a conference call with reporters last week that they are partnering with the players’ association to identify ways to leverage the league’s platform to better amplify civil rights issues.
The league released its schedule Friday, with the New Orleans Pelicans facing the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Los Angeles Clippers in a nationally televised doubleheader season opener on July 30, Fox News reported.