The Minnesota Lynx warmed up for their game on Saturday in shirts supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement. The front read “Change Starts With Us: Justice and Accountability.” On the back were the names of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, as well as the Dallas police shield and the words “Black Lives Matter.”
In a press conference, team captains Rebekkah Brunson and Maya Moore spoke about the recent shootings, their own experiences with racism from police, their admiration for the Dallas PD who have been implementing de-escalation training in their force to the benefit of all, and a call for accountability and change. They were flanked by fellow captains Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that their shirts were not well-received by the four off-duty police officers hired as security at the game, who walked off the job:
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, praised them for quitting. “I commend them for it,” he said.
Kroll said the four officers also removed themselves from a list of officers working future games. He did not know who the officers were. “Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games,” he said.
Asked if other officers will fill in for those who quit, Kroll said, “If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there.”
Kroll also took the time to be petty, saying, “They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw.”
In all this sad mess, it did make me laugh to see that one of the top comments on the Lynx’s press conference video is: “The only team that can win anything in Minnesota lately!” GO LYNX.
Screenshot via Facebook.