From launching racial justice initiatives to backing organizations on the frontlines fighting to address systemic oppression, professional athletes are using their resources and platforms to evoke change. Among the group of individuals at the intersection of sports and activism is WNBA player Angel McCoughtry. According to Blavity, the Las Vegas Aces forward has launched a petition to use WNBA jerseys to honor those who have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement officials.
The petition—dubbed the #SayTheirNames Jersey Campaign—was created to encourage players to add the names of women and men of color who were victims of police brutality. The move is to honor the legacies of those who were murdered and spread awareness about the need for change. “I will be playing this upcoming @wnba and I am looking forward to continue to fight social injustice issues while playing and supporting front line workers,” the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist posted on Instagram. “I am currently working with the @lvaces and @wnba to use our voices, our uniforms, and our sport to continue to impact and create real change. The goal is also to create a relationship with the families of whose name the athlete has chosen. This is a way to use our platform to be a helping hand during these trying times. Silence is an ally for EVIL and when sports resume WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.”
The WNBA season is slated to kick off in July and there will be 22 regular-season games.
Other sports leagues are adapting McCoughtry’s idea. According to CBS Sports, NBA players will now be allowed to add statements about social justice to their jerseys.