WNBA players react to Breonna Taylor grand jury announcement

WNBA players with Say Her Name shirts
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The Las Vegas Aces were at practice on Wednesday afternoon when it was announced that no officers were being directly charged with Breonna Taylor’s death.

Former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of ‘wanton endangerment’ in the first degree (endangering neighbors with reckless gunfire) but no other charges related to Taylor’s death were announced. The two other officers who were present the night Taylor was shot and killed were not indicted.

It was clear that the Aces players were still wrapping their heads around the news during their post-practice press conference.

“It’s disheartening,” Aces guard Kayla McBride said. “It’s a large part of why we’re here this season.”

When the WNBA season started in July, the league dedicated the 2020 season to Breonna Taylor and the ‘Say Her Name’ movement, which helps raise awareness for Black women who are victims of police brutality.

“We’re going to continue to say her name,” Aces guard Danielle Robinson said.

A few hours later, players on the Seattle Storm shared their thoughts at an evening press conference.

“I think I could speak for most people and say [the announcement] was kind of disgusting to see,” Storm center Mercedes Russell said. “We are still going to fight for all women who were brutally murdered.”

“It’s just crazy how they charged him, but they didn’t charge him for what he did to Breonna Taylor,” Storm forward Natasha Howard said, while wearing a shirt that read “Still Justice for Breonna Taylor.”

Storm coach Gary Kloppenburg voiced his support of players speaking up. “Black women, in a way, are the conscious of this country,” he said. “They’ve shouldered a lot, through hundred of years. And it’s manifested in this league of young women. All the players in this league have lived it.”

Kloppenburg also spoke about the personal responsibility he feels in the larger fight for racial justice. “Honestly, it’s on us white people to get something changed… This is something that we are responsible for moving forward.”

Other WNBA players reacted on social media: