( ENSPIRE News ) WNBA Announces a July 24th Tip-Off, The Players and Organizations Have Made it Clear the Season Emphasis Will to be on Social Justice
ENSPIRE Contributor: Tyler Burns
With the pandemic still going on, professional sports are trying to reach plans to bring back the leagues. The WNBA has been at the forefront of this movement working alongside its players to emphasize social injustice throughout the remainder of the season. The WNBA should be a guideline on how to operate/negotiate with your players and teams to make decisions that benefit everyone.
The decision was made to play the 2020 season with several new rules, regulations, and other protocols in regards to Covid-19;
- Each team will play 22 games
- The regular season will begin in late July
- Players will receive full pay and benefits regardless of the modified season
- A strong commitment to social justice will be routinely stressed by the players, organizations, and league as a whole
Players across the league have been conflicted and some have made it clear they will not return. For example, Maya Moore will be missing her second straight season in 2020 to focus on social justice. According to the New York Times‘ Kurt Streeter, the Minnesota Lynx star plans to sit out “so she can continue to push for criminal justice reform and the release of Jonathan Irons, a man she believes is innocent of the crime for which he was sentenced to prison.” Other players that plan to sit out are Chiney Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver.
The WNBA, as a business, is making a smart decision keeping their players paid with benefits but it’s still not enough for some players who are demanding more attention to the ongoing social justice towards the black community within America. The players are at the forefront and should have their concerns and reservations about returning to play whether it be health concerns or the ongoing fight for equality. Other sports leagues should follow the WNBAs lead and follow suit.