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Brianna Turner calls for change after Uvalde school shooting

The Phoenix Mercury big was the latest WNBA player to institute a basketball media blackout to advocate for gun control.

Dallas Wings v Phoenix Mercury Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Brianna Turner sat with a paper in front of her, focused on the notes in front of her while Phoenix Mercury PR set up the postgame Zoom press conference. Once the laptop was in place, Turner got the go-ahead to begin with a prepared statement that had nothing to do with the Mercury’s game Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Sparks.

Here is the full text of Turner’s remarks about the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in her home state of Texas:

“I just want to start off by saying, speaking about the Texas shooting, I know this is business as usual. This is normal America. We experience mass shootings, we go to work, we go to school the next day, we don’t process because it’s so normalized. But you have kids like Xavier Lopez, Jose Flores, Lexi Rubio that didn’t wake up today, Their family will never talk to them again. We have a serious issue. There’s 535 people in Congress. There’s 330 million people in America. We need Congress to help us, we have a serious issue. It shouldn’t be left or right. This shouldn’t be normalized. I’ve been witnessing school shootings for the past 10 years. Sandy Hook was my first memory 10 years ago, and we’re still here. So we have to do better. And I’m gonna answer questions, and it’s normal. So it might happen again in a week. I don’t know. But it’s business as usual, but at the same time, we have a serious issue. And we need help.”

After witnessing her teammate’s emotion during her statement, Skylar Diggins-Smith preemptively ended the rest of the press conference, noting that “Breezy said it”.

Turner isn’t one of the loudest players on the court in the WNBA, but she has steadily become one of the league’s loudest voices for social issues off the floor. Her Twitter page often advocates for the rights of trans people, specifically youth, and Turner is on the board of Equality Texas, which works to secure rights for LGBTQ+ individuals in Texas.

Recently, Turner has also spotlighted Brittney Griner’s detention and the good works the Mercury star has done in Phoenix since being drafted in 2013. On an early-season road trip, Turner noted that Griner would often share leftover food with the homeless, so Turner did the same with Griner unable to.

“Breezy is extremely cerebral,” Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard said postgame. “She’s a real thinker. She asks a lot of great questions, and she’s extremely thoughtful, though she may seem quiet, I know she has a lot to say. And it’s wonderful that her platform gets to be amplified and she gets to get her messages out there. But I do think she has a really great heart, and I am really really proud of her for for standing up today and being vocal.”

The players of the WNBA have never shied from speaking up about issues that affect people across the country — Natasha Cloud has been a consistent proponent of common sense gun control for many years — and Turner is the latest in the lineage. It is rare to hear her voice, but worth listening to whenever she speaks.