It will be guarded by Natasha Cloud and player LaToya Sanders – two starters of WNBA defender Washington Mystic. In addition, Connecticut Sun’s Jonquel Jones, who finished third in the voting for the WNBA MVP last season, has announced his decision not to play.
Cloud decides not to play around to focus on social reform, while Sanders and Jones cited health reasons.
The WNBA season plans to be held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, beginning in July.
“There are many factors that led to this decision, but the biggest one is that I am more than an athlete. I am responsible to myself, to my community and to my future children, to fight for something much bigger than Me and play basketball. Instead. , I will continue to fight for social reform, because until Black life is important, all lives cannot be important. “
On Friday, Cloud told CNN ahead of the “Standing Together” march in Washington, DC: “We have a voice that can be used for those who don’t have a voice. We have this platform to sit in front of all those cameras and this medium must be a voice and use our voices in the right and right way.
“So I challenge all of us: If you are silent, you are part of the problem. If you choose to be neutral, you choose the side of the oppressor.
“Because, for our leagues, especially for the NBA and WNBA, I know for us, 80% of our league is black. So at what point for our White colleagues and our White teammates join us? War for us on on the court or on the basketball court, but what do you do behind the scenes when we go home and on the way home?
Cloud also said Friday before the march that she had not thought about basketball for the past two weeks.
“We’re not just athletes,” Cloud said. “When we take off our uniforms, we are black, men and women. We are not allowed to take off our skin color and walk the streets and have that privilege. We have no choice.
“When you talk about the game of basketball, today, right now, I could worry less. Our call right now is to use our God-given platforms, to use our voices, and to come together for something bigger than everyone alone combined.”
As for Cloud’s teammate Sanders: “This wasn’t an easy choice, but after a lot of thinking and talking, I believe it’s best for my health and family.”
“I wish my teammates and the whole Mystics family the best this season and I will continue to watch and support them,” Sanders said.
Mystica won their first NBA title in franchise history last season.
“This was one of the toughest decisions I’ve made, but the re-emergence and unknown aspects of Covid-19 have caused serious health problems that make me not feel comfortable competing,” Jones said.
Both Mystic and Sun said they support their players ’decisions.