SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Minnesota Lynx said its players would not be wearing T-shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of Tuesday’s game in San Antonio after four off-duty police officers walked away from security jobs at a Lynx game over the weekend because of the garb.
The shirts worn before Saturday’s game in Minneapolis against the Dallas Wings listed the names of two black men fatally shot by police in Minnesota and Louisiana. The shirts also showed the Dallas police shield above the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” Five officers in Dallas were fatally shot last Thursday by a sniper during a protest over the two slayings.
Lynx spokeswoman Ashley Carlson says the players would not be wearing the BLM clothing in San Antonio.
“The Lynx organization was made aware about the concerns of the off duty Minneapolis police officers,” the team said. “While our players message mourned the loss of life due to last week’s shootings, we respect the right of those individual officers to express their own beliefs in their own way. … We continue to urge a constructive discussion about the issues raised by these tragedies.
Many athletes have expressed frustration and anger over the recent police shootings, including NBA players Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony and Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury.
LeBron James and other basketball stars made news in 2014 when they wore t-shirts reading “I can’t breathe” to protest the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police in New York City and five members of the St. Louis Rams made the “Hands up. Don’t Shoot!” gesture before a game in reference to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson.
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