DrThe NBA players used the start of the season as a strong sign against racism in the United States. Before the opening game of the World Basketball Championship between Seattle Storm and New York Liberty, basketball players left the field while the national anthem was being played on Saturday (local time) and returned to the locker rooms. “It doesn’t seem like kneeling is enough to protest,” said New York captain Laicia Clarendon. Even before the start, WNBA announced that it would dedicate its season to fighting for social justice.
When players return to the field in Bradenton, Florida, where the NBA has shut down their entire season due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they pause for 26 seconds to honor Briona Taylor. The black American was shot dead by police during an operation at her home in March at the age of 26. So far, no charges have been brought against the officers involved.
From a sports point of view, Seattle clearly won the start with 87:71. Los Angeles Sparks beat Phoenix Mercury, 99:76. German national player Marie Jolesch was not used. Sato Sabali and Dallas start to win. Against the Atlanta Dream, there were 95: 105 on Sunday (local time) in Bradenton, Florida. Sabali was in the starting line-up and in over 27 minutes of play, she made her debut in the strongest women’s basketball league in the world with eleven points, five rebounds and five assists.
“I think Sato was a bit negative in the beginning, which is unusual for a beginner,” said coach Brian Gerger. “In the second half, she got a little more intense and figured out how to take action to score. She – all of us – must work to defend herself.” Sabali took second place in the draft from Dallas. Prior to that the 22-year-old, who was born in New York and raised in Berlin, no German athlete had been chosen by an American team.
Like all the other players, Sabally had her shirt number (0) and her own nickname as well as Breonna Taylor’s name on the shirt. As in the NBA, the motto “Black lives matter” was on the field.