WNBA Rescinds Fines Of Teams Who Wore Anti-Violence Shirts

The WNBA came to their senses. Last week, three WNBA teams—the Phoenix Mercury, New York Liberty and Indiana Fever—were fined for wearing black t-shirts in the wake of recent police shootings.

The teams were fined $5,000 each, and players lost $500 from their paycheck. According to the WNBA’s uniform policy, warmup shirts may not be altered in any way.

The fines were a problem for several WNBA players, who called out the league for handing out Pride t-shirts after the Orlando nightclub massacre, but not allowing players to make a stand against police violence.


Some players took an even more direct response, staging a media black out last week. Players from both the Liberty and the Fever refused to answer any questions about basketball, as reported by Sports Illustrated reported.

“We’re only talking about Black Lives Matter,” Fever forward Tamika Catchings said

Liberty forward and WNBA AllStar Swin Cash said:

“We really would appreciate that people stop making our support of Black Lives Matter, an issue that is so critical in our society right now, as us not supporting the police officers, I think people need to understand that it’s not mutually exclusive.”

Carmelo Anthony voiced his displeasure with the league as both an NBA player and someone who has been very vocal for the movement. “I don’t see why there would be a reason for those ladies to get fined,” he said, as The Washington Post reported. “Everybody has freedom of speech.”

Pressure bursts pipes, so the WNBA decided to rescind the fine.

“All of us at the WNBA have the utmost respect and appreciation for our players expressing themselves on matters important to them,” WNBA President Lisa Borders said in a statement. “While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues.”