Players from the WNBA team the Minnesota Lynx are taking a stand against police brutality, choosing, as many others have done, to warm up in shirts making a political statement.
The shirts, according to the Washington Post, read, "Change Starts With Us—Justice and Accountability" on the front. On the backs of the shirts were the names of two of the most recent victims of fatal police-involved shootings—Alton Sterling and Philando Castile—the logo of the Dallas Police Department and the phrase, "Black Lives Matter."
However, four off-duty police officers who were providing security for the home game over the weekend were not impressed by the team's warmup shirts and walked off the job following pregame comments by some of the players and after seeing the shirts.
The president of the Minneapolis Police Federation "commended" the officers for their decision to quit, warning that other officers may decide to take the same stance in similar situations should the need arise, the Post notes.
"If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there," the president of the Minneapolis Police Union, Lt. Bob Kroll, said Monday, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The four officers apparently removed themselves from the list of candidates that provide security at Lynx games, according to Kroll, and he warned, “Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games.”
“I commend them for it,” Kroll added.
Before the Saturday game, Lynx captains Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen held a news conference, speaking out about the shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas.
“We do not, in any way, condone violence against the men and women who serve on our police force,” Moore said, according to the Star Tribune. “Senseless violence and retaliation will not bring us peace.
“One aspect of our team’s culture is accountability,” Moore said. “It’s kept us strong over the years. We, as leaders, try to hold ourselves and each other accountable as an organization.”
“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,” Brunson added. “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.”
Read more at the Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.