Cops Working WNBA Game Walk Out In Response To “Black Lives Matter” Game Shirts

Four off-duty cops who were meant to work as security during the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx’s game last night against the Dallas Wings walked out of the venue after they saw the players’ shirts during the team warm-up. The front of the black-colored shirts said “Change Starts With Us: Justice and Accountability,” while the back showed images of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and the Dallas police shield with the words “Black Lives Matter.”

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune says that the cops had a negative response to the shirts, and walked off the court before the game began. 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 officials working future games. When 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.”

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The team wanted to use the tragedies of the past week as an opportunity to speak up about the injustice the black community faces. “We do not in any way condone violence against the men and women who serve in our police force,” three-time WNBA MVP Maya Moore said during a pre-game conference.