by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
BRADENTON, FL — Los Angeles Sparks and WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike spoke to the media via zoom on Saturday night following practice. Ogwumike clearly stated that her and her teammates are focused on leaving the “wubble” with a WNBA championship.
“For me to walk away with anything, most importantly really just a championship, it’s going to be extremely well earned,” Ogwumike said.
She also emphasized that the WNBA plans to honor both “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” movements during the opening weekend of the season.
“Although we’re in a world right now where Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name is front and center, the Social Justice Council’s still very much involved in voting rights and registration and LGBTQ initiatives,” Ogwumike said.
With some many players in the WNBA expressing their voices regarding the removal of Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler who made some insensitive and racial remarks against the Black Lives Matter movement and the league supporting it.
“All I have to say is, if someone believes that, and that’s not what the league stands for, then you can leave. You don’t have to stay.
“It’s interesting that Black Lives Matter is considered political, because it’s not. It’s a human rights issue. So to bring politics into a space where many people out there now are saying that we shouldn’t bring politics into the sport, it’s quite contradictory when we’re being brought into politics.”
Although it may be a league question or issue, it’s an important matter that will not go away anytime soon. The power of the players have a phenomenal impact on the direction of the game. The WNBA’s motto is about diversity, equality for all, and if the voice of the players gets ignored regarding the removal of a racist co-owner, it could be catastrophic long term. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert has her hands full and should want to avoid a Donald Sterling type of catastrophy.
“When it comes to where someone will or will not go, as far as ownership, that’s the WNBA question,” Ogwumike said.