Earlier this week, the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx represented the “Black Lives Matter” movement by wearing shirts supporting Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were shot and killed by police officers last week, ahead of a game.
However, that didn’t seem to sit well with some of the officers in the arena as four off-duty police officers who were working the game walked off the job when they saw the shirts.
It might not have upset them so much had the shirts not also featured the Dallas Police Department shield on the back.
Just days after Sterling and Castile were killed, five Dallas officers were gunned down in a horrific sniper shooting. The Minnesota officers who walked out also removed their name from the list to work future games.
“I commend them for it,” Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Lynx, however, were not trying to anger anyone by wearing the shirts.
The franchise released a statement saying they supported everyone through this tough time with player Rebekkah Brunson saying they wore the shirts “to honor and mourn the loss of precious American citizens and to plead change for all of us.”
“While our players’ message mourned the loss of life due to last week’s shootings, we respect the right of those individual officers to express their own beliefs in their own way. At no time was the safety of our game in question as Target Center staffs extra personnel for each and every game,” the statement continued. “The Lynx and the entire WNBA have been saddened by the recent shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and St. Paul. We continue to urge a constructive discussion about the issues raised by these tragedies.”
This has certainly been an interesting situation over the last week or so and it looks like it is not going away for anytime soon.