WNBA in Olympic Break – Lisa Borders Revokes Fines

Lisa Borders revoked the fines that were levied on the four Minnesota players that wore the Black Lives Matter shirts.

The WNBA is currently in intermission due to the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics. Heading into the break, the top-four teams, in order, are the Los Angeles Sparks, the Minnesota Lynx, the New York Liberty, and the Atlanta Dream. However the recent big news in the WNBA isn’t the standings as the teams go on break, but rather the recent statement from Lisa Borders, the President of the WNBA. She released a statement on Saturday pertaining to the players that were involved in the  player-uniform violations from earlier this month.

WNBA fans will recall that a couple of weeks ago four members of the Minnesota Lynx wore shirts with messages on the front and back. “Change Starts With Us” and “Justice & Accountability” were printed on the fronts of the shirts. On the backs were the names Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, two recent shooting victims in the USA, with the phrase “Black Lives Matter” printed underneath. The four WNBA players, which included Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore, that wore the shirts were subsequently fined.

But on Saturday, Borders announced that the players that wore the “Black Lives Matter” shirts would have their fines revoked. Borders also made statements that the WNBA would use the Olympic break to address the issue of how players may communicate opinions to the public.

According to Borders:

“While we expect players to comply with league rules…we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues. Given that the league will now be suspending play…we plan to use this time to work…on ways for the players to make their views known to…the public and we have informed the players that we are rescinding the recently-imposed fines.”

The women’s association will not resume play again until August 26th. It will be interesting to see what new policies the WNBA will institute at that time on what could be a very tricky matter.

However, as many WNBA players will be involved in America’s hunt for a gold medal WNBA players and fans alike will soon be turning their attention to the Olympics and America’s stacked team. Team USA has four exhibition games upcoming in the next week and their Olympic campaign begins on August 7th (see schedule information below).

July 25th: USA vs. Select Team (exhibition match at U. of Southern California)
July 27th: USA vs. France (exhibition match at U. of Delaware)
July 29th: USA vs. Canada (exhibition match in Bridgeport, Connecticut)
July 31st: USA vs. Australia (exhibition match at Madison Square Garden)

August 7th: USA vs. Senegal
August 8th: USA vs. Spain
August 10th: USA vs. Serbia
August 12th: USA vs. Canada
August 14th: USA vs. China

August 16th: quarterfinals
August 18th: semifinals
August 20th: Gold Medal final

Shane Lambert