We’re in an age of athletes speaking truth to power, and well, power isn’t always happy about that.
On Saturday, four off-duty police officers working the Minnesota Lynx’s game at the Target Center walked out in protest of the team’s recent stand against police brutality. From The Star Tribune:
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.
Kroll said the four officers also removed themselves from a list of officers working future games. He did not know who the officers were. “Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games,” he said.
Asked if other officers will fill in for those who quit, Kroll said, “If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there.”
This happened after four Lynx players, including star Maya Moore, wore T-shirts reading “Change starts with us, justice and accountability” as well as the names Philando Castile Alton Sterling and the words “Black Lives Matter.”
"This is a human issue & we need to speak up for change, together." -Maya pic.twitter.com/tyfl65Ag81
— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) July 9, 2016
So yeah, it seems these cops were offended that some Lynx players think defenseless people shouldn’t be killed by government officers. Sure Black Lives Matter is kind of a lightning rod after the shootings in Dallas (which, it should be noted, didn’t have anything to do with any official BLM activity or the peaceful protest happening below), but damn, if we can’t agree on not shooting people with their hands behind their back we’re in trouble. No one on the Lynx was wishing harm on cops. They were asking for “justice and accountability.” You’d think those are things we could all get behind.
Of course, the police’s reaction was no surprise. We’ve seen this again and again. Remember when Rams players came out of the tunnel with their hands up and the St. Louis Police Officers Association freaked out?
The Lynx situation is kind of reminiscent of that scene in Straight Outta Compton where police demand that N.W.A. not play F*** Tha Police and N.W.A. plays it anyway. That led to a riot, whereas Saturday’s walkout led to a slightly understaffed WNBA game, but police walking out on their jobs because someone has the audacity to ask that they be held accountable or that they treat everyone equally can only lead to bad news.