It's been a tragic couple of weeks for the country. First, the fatal police shootings of two black men last week in Baton Rouge, LA and Falcon Heights, MN sparked an outcry from the public and the Black Lives Matter movement. After that, peaceful protests in Dallas turned into a warzone when multiple gunmen targeted police officers, eventually shooting eleven and killing five.
The Lynx captains decided to make a statement. They were fed up with all of the gun violence and innocent life lost. Before the game against the Dallas Wings last Saturday, the Lynx held a press conference where they voiced their concerns on racial profiling and the senseless violence plaguing our society. "We as a nation can decide to stand up for what is right, no matter your race, background or social status. It is time we take a deep look at our ability to be compassionate and empathetic to those suffering from the problems that are deep within our society," Maya Moore said during the presser.
The Lynx made a point to say they do not condone any violence against the police in regards to the movement. They wore special warm-up shirts that had "Change Starts With Us - Justice and Accountability" on the front. The back had the names of the victims, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and the Dallas Police Shield along with ‘Black Lives Matter' at the bottom.
The off-duty police officers working the Lynx game that night walked out in protest of the warm-up shirts and the Lynx players' comments. Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, spoke out against the warm-ups, but not because of the message. He is in favor of athletes speaking out on issues but he was concerned with the players having a custom warm-up. "My preference would be players adhere to our uniforms. It's a slippery slope," Silver said.
The team ended up beating the Wings handily, 93-56. In response to the officers walking out, the team decided not to wear the ‘Black Lives Matter' warm-ups in today's game against the San Antonio Stars. "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," the team said in a statement.
Though they didn't wear the warm-ups, the result was the same as the last game, a blow-out victory for the Lynx. Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen led the team as they won 81-57. It wasn't a totally unexpected outcome, as the Stars were in last place coming into the game.
Minnesota came out hot, shooting 58 percent from the field in the first quarter to take an eight-point lead. Unfortunately, they didn't fair that well in the second quarter, as the made only five of 19 shots. The Stars weren't any better, as Lynx still extended their lead by a point going into the second half.
The Lynx really took it up a notch coming out of the break. They started the third quarter on an 18-2 run, bringing the score to 54-29 in just under six minutes. It was an easy stroll to victory after that.
Whalen matched her season-high point total that she set in the last game at 22. She took advantage of open shots and used a lot of pump-fakes to set herself up to drive. She ended with five assists, five rebounds and two steals. Not to be outdone, Moore totaled 24 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three blocks. These two Lynx players were unstoppable throughout the game.
Rebekkah Brunson grabbed three offensive rebounds in the game. This means she only needs to grab one more to solely take second place all-time in that category in the history of the WNBA.
Next up, the Lynx take on the New York Liberty at home on Friday.
Here is a play from Whalen and Moore during that 18-2 run to start the third: