Connect with us


New York Liberty Players Among Those Fined By WNBA For Support of #BlackLivesMatter

(Photo by Karen King - Double G Media)

(Photo by Karen King – Double G Media)


Congratulations to the WNBA. You are now just like the NBA. The message sent to those who watch women’s professional sports is that free expression is not to be tolerated. It is to be punished. The New York Liberty are made up of a collection of athletes who have always been involved intimately with their community, collectively or individually. They are the heartbeat of the city as much as any professional team.

So it’s quite an irony that the New York Liberty, who is celebrating their 20th anniversary, can support just about any cause from the Orlando shootings to LGBT rights. But as soon as they make a unified statement in response to a repetitive wrong in this country, they are slapped on the wrist with force, and fined.

By the way, the $500 fine per player is quite hefty for the average WNBA player, who hustle for their dollars. All because, New York, along with Indiana and Phoenix were found guilty of expressing through wearing black t-shirts their response to the police shootings of black men in several locations of the United States. There are many ways to protest and the Liberty took the least resistant way. But words and symbols are powerful.

Powerful enough to get the Liberty, who have played the most exciting ball the past two years but cannot command a full-page spread in major media papers unless they do something the WNBA did not personally approve. That is a plain example of inequality.

Carmelo Anthony can sound the bugle call of athletes and be commended for it. He is on record as saying that there is “no reason” they should have been fined. Which is fine, but the Liberty’s best player, who makes roughly one-tenth the money Anthony makes is actually holding her ground.

Tina Charles, won the Player of the Month award,  has continued to protest by wearing her shirt inside-out, something she intends to continue until the league supports one of their top stars.

“It’s about continuing to raise awareness,” Charles explained. “I have no problem wearing this shirt inside-out for the rest of the season until we’re able to have the WNBA’s support.”

So, in the final week of the pre-Olympic schedule, the Liberty close out this phase in first place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 18-8 after dropping their final game to Indiana 82-70. Charles scored 25 points and grabbed 13 boards in the loss. But does that interest the media at all?

When Tina Charles plays for the Olympic team, will they focus on her game alone and edit out what really counts? A champion is not solely defined by what happens in a game as much as how they conduct themselves in life. The New York Liberty have always conducted themselves with class, even if the powers that be confuse the definition sometimes.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Basketball