“If the players are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there.”
Over the weekend four off-duty police officers who were conducting security for the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx walked off the court when players emerged in warmup shirts that read "Black Lives Matter."
The front of the shirts, which were worn by the likes of Maya Moore, Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen, read, "Change Starts With Us-Justice And Accountability" while the back featured the Dallas Police Department shield, the names of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the words "Black Lives Matter."
In a statement before the game, Maya Moore said this:
“We do not, in any way, condone violence against the men and women who serve on our police force,” Moore said (via the Star Tribune). “Senseless violence and retaliation will not bring us peace.”
“One aspect of our team’s culture is accountability,” Moore added. “It’s kept us strong over the years. We, as leaders, try to hold ourselves and each other accountable as an organization.”
When asked about the four officers who walked off the court following this gesture by Lynx players, Minneapolis' police union president, Bob Kroll, shared his support for their decision:
“I commend them for it,” Kroll said of the officers who walked off the job. When asked about a report indicating twice as many off-duty cops had quit, the union chief said, “They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw.”
“If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there.” He noted that the four officers removed themselves from a list of candidates to provide security at Lynx games and added, “Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games.”
“Rushing to judgment before the facts are in is unwarranted and reckless.”
In Kroll's opinion, the Lynx players were furthering a "false narrative" about incidents of police killing innocent black people.