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The WNBA decided to postpone all three games Wednesday night following the shooting of Jacob Blake over the weekend.
Officer Rusten Sheskey, was caught on video firing seven times into Blake’s back at near point-blank range as he gripped his shirt. The shooting sparked riots across Wisconsin, with the governor ordering a state of emergency and calling in the state’s national guard to control the uproar.
“This isn’t just about basketball. We aren’t just basketball players,” Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins told ESPN. “We’re going to say what we need to say.”
The WNBA’s decision came just hours after the NBA decided to postpone its three playoff games, and there are reports that the LA Lakers and the Clipper have voted to boycott the entire season.
“We know it’s a very emotional time for our players. They are struggling with what’s been happening in this country for months, if not years,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
Washington was set to go up against Atlanta, Minnesota was going to face Los Angeles, and Connecticut would play Phoenix on Wednesday night. Instead, the Mystics, Dream, Sparks and Lynx took a knee at center court right before leaving the court.
“We stand in solidarity with our brothers in the NBA, and will continue this conversation with our brothers and sisters across all leagues and look to take collective action,” said Atlanta Dream player Elizabeth Williams, the secretary of the players’ union.
Three Major League Baseball games were also postponed as well as five Major League Soccer games.