WNBA teams – not the Lynx – fined for wearing black warm-up T-shirts


The Minnesota Lynx were not among the three WNBA teams fined for wearing black warm-up shirts to promote non-violent actions against African Americans and police.

According to The Associated Press, the New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever were fined $5,000 – and their players were each fined $500 – for ignoring a memo sent out by the league reminding teams of uniform policies.

"We are proud of WNBA players' engagement and passionate advocacy for non-violent solutions to difficult social issues but expect them to comply with the league's uniform guidelines," WNBA president Lisa Borders said in a statement to the AP.

The Lynx weren't fined because the memo came out after they wore black T-shirts with the names of two black men, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, who were recently killed by police, along with the Dallas Police Department emblem and "Black Lives Matter" written on them.

The shirts prompted Minneapolis police officers contracted to work security at the game to walk out.


NBA, NFL didn't fine players for similar actions

In 2014, LeBron James and other NBA superstars wore black warm-up shirts that said "I can't breathe" on them. Those were the final words from Eric Garner, who died after police put him in a chokehold in New York.

The NBA didn't fine those players, only telling them that they would prefer they abide by uniform rules, according to the Washington Post.

"You hear the slogan 'NBA cares' and it’s more evident than now to show some support," Kevin Garnett said at the time, according to the Post. "Obviously we’re not on the front line of this movement, but I think it’s important being from these communities and supporting these communities."

Similarly, five players from the St. Louis Rams (now the Los Angeles Rams) walked onto the field before a game last season demonstrating a "hands up, don't shoot" response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri. They were not fined, according to ESPN.

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