Members of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx set the tone for their Saturday game by wearing t-shirts with a message in support of racial equality and the Black Lives Matter movement, following the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. However, it didn’t sit well with four off-duty police officers who were working security at Target Center, according to ESPN.com. The officers, offended by what was written on the shirts, decided to walk off their jobs as a reaction.
“Change starts with us. Justice and accountability” was printed on the front of the black warm up gear. The names of police brutality victims Castile and Sterling, along with the Dallas Police Department shield and “Black Lives Matter” were on the back.
Lt. Bob Kroll, President of Minneapolis Police Federation is confident his officers did the right thing in standing their ground and leaving the arena. “I commend them for it,” Kroll said.
Although Lt. Kroll has yet to learn the four officer’s names, he believes they won’t be the last to put their foot down. They immediately withdrew their names off a list for any future games. “Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games,” says Kroll.
The team does not plan on wearing the shirts for their games against the Stars in San Antonio on Tuesday. In a statement, the players were extremely saddened by the recent shootings as well as the violence in Dallas that claimed the lives of five police officers and felt the need to express their sorrow. The Lynx organization was made aware of the officer’s actions and say respect their opinions and beliefs, according to spokeswoman Ashley Carlson.
In a press conference before Saturday night’s game, Lynx player Maya Moore said, “If we take this time to see that this is a human issue and speak out together, we can greatly decrease fear and create change. Tonight we will be wearing shirts to honor and mourn the losses of precious American citizens and to plead for change in all of us.”