Lynx captains Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen held a news conference before Saturday’s game against Dallas in a show of support for the victims and families of the high-profile shootings in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and Dallas in the last week.
The four players took seats on the dais in the Target Center media room wearing T-shirts that read “Change Starts With Us, Justice and Accountability” on the front and the names of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the logo for the Dallas Police Department and Black Lives Matter on back. The team wore the T-shirts during pregame warmups.
Brunson and Moore read prepared statements, while Whalen and Augustus flanked the duo but did not speak. They did not take questions from the media.
“I’ve got four captains that understand what we do is more than sports,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve told team radio voice John Focke on the team pregame show. “They understand they have a voice, have a platform, which they feel very fortunate to have.
“In order to enact change, when you see an injustice, you can’t stand idly by. I think it was very thoughtful of them and, as usual, I’m very proud of them.”
Here are some excerpts from the statements:
Said Brunson: “In the wake of the tragedies that have continued to plague our society, we have decided it’s important to take a stand and raise our voices. Racial profiling is a problem. Senseless violence is a problem. The divide is way too big between our communities and those who have vowed to protect and serve us.
“ … Racism and unjust phobic fear and disregard of black females is very real. I’m scared for my brothers and sisters, my nieces and nephews, my future son or daughter.
“I’m scared I can’t teach them to stand up for themselves, to be young, proud, strong people.”
Said Moore: “We do not, in any way, condone violence against the men and women who serve on our police force. Senseless violence and retaliation will not bring us peace. … One aspect of our team’s culture is accountability. It’s kept us strong over the years. We, as leaders, try to hold ourselves and each other accountable as an organization.
“We as a community, especially our leaders, have accountability in owning our weaknesses and really humble ourselves to realize the conviction that we must improve the realities of justice, freedom and safety for all people. This is a human issue and we need to speak out for change together.”