Cops Walked Off The Job At A WNBA Game After Players Wore ‘Black Lives Matter’ Shirts
In wake of the Philando Castile and Alton Sterling killings at the hands of police last week, there have been “Black Lives Matter” protests all across the country. Tensions between the black community and law enforcement are arguably at the highest they’ve been in a handful of years, especially considering the ambush-style shooting at a Dallas protest that left four cops dead following the Castile and Sterling incidents.
On Monday night, members of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx addressed those tensions and called for an end to racial profiling. As a result, police officers assigned to work the team’s game quit on the spot.
Four off-duty Minneapolis police officers working the Minnesota Lynx game at Target Center on Saturday night walked off the job after the players held a news conference denouncing racial profiling, then wore Black Lives Matter pregame warm-up jerseys.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, praised them for quitting. “I commend them for it,” he said.
Prior to the game, Lynx players wore black T-shirts that read “Change starts with us, justice and accountability.” On the back, the shirts displayed Philando Castile’s and Alton Sterling’s names along with “Black Lives Matter” and a Dallas Police Department emblem.
Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson stated that the team was “wearing shirts to honor and mourn the loss of precious American citizens and to plead change for all of us.” Despite the fact that the the players also honored the officers lost in Dallas and called it a “senseless ambush,” the Minnesota PD officers were not happy about the message Lynx players were trying to send regarding law enforcement.
Kroll criticized Lynx players, citing the “false narratives” in the past two years in which some allegations of police misconduct in the killing of black people were refuted. “Rushing to judgment before the facts are in is unwarranted and reckless,” he said.
Police sign up for off-duty jobs to work Lynx games, Kroll said. “They can start or stop a job whenever they want,” he said. “They are working on an independent contract.”
Asked about a report that seven or eight officers had walked off the job, Kroll said, “They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw.”
Well, that petty shot at the Lynx’s attendance numbers seemed a little unnecessary, but here we are.