It was announced today by USA Today, that each franchise of the New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever and the players on the team, have been fined for wearing black warmup shirts in the wake of the shootings that took place earlier this month.
All three teams have been fined $5,000, and each of the players have been fined $500.
The fines come because these organizations broke protocol of the WNBA's uniform guidelines.
President Lisa Borders of the WNBA shared her remarks on the situation, "We are proud of WNBA players' engagement and passionate advocacy for non-violent solutions to difficult social issues but expect them to comply with the league's uniform guidelines."
New York has worn plain black shirts four times in their games (the latest Wednesday against Washington), whereas Phoenix and Indiana have worn them once, the latest being on Tuesday. The WNBA rules state even if the shirt is from the official outfitter of the league (Adidas), team uniforms can not be altered at all.
The WNBA sent out a memo this week as a reminder to teams about the league's uniform policy. However, the memo did not come out until Minnesota, New York, and Dallas had worn their shirts in honor of the two men shot by police officers and the Dallas police officers being killed as well.
The Lynx have decided to shift their way of focusing on addressing social issues in a different form; Minnesota only wore their shirt once, which at the time caused an uproar with the police department in Minneapolis. A compromise has been made in New York, where the players wear black shirts which only has the Adidas logo on it.
Some players in the league took to their personal social media accounts to voice their thoughts on the news of the fines.
For Seattle Storm's forward, Alysha Clark, she followed the league's uniform policy but shared giving attention to one social issue over another was not a good look.
I understand uniform policy & all...but how can you support 1 incident that effects the community in & in support of our league but not...— Alysha Clark (@Alysha_Clark) July 21, 2016
Support the other? Shirts were in our lockers right after the Orlando incident. Is it b/c #BlackLivesMatters is uncomfortable for you?— Alysha Clark (@Alysha_Clark) July 21, 2016
Kelsey Bone of the Phoenix Mercury wasn't pleased with the fines either, stating a majority of the league includes black athletes. Also, she wants to see support from the league she is a part of.
I think it's sick that we are being punished for supporting a matter that affects majority of us personally...— Sophia Petrillheaux (@kelseybone3) July 20, 2016
In a time where our league is searching for relevance why not take a stand and support your players on issues that effect majority of them— Sophia Petrillheaux (@kelseybone3) July 20, 2016
Phoenix Mercury forward Mistie Bass gave her strong opinion regarding the fines: