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WNBA to return today following two-day stoppage in response to Jacob Blake shooting

Members of four WNBA teams lock arms on court on Wednesday, the first day of the league's stoppage.
Members of four WNBA teams, including the Washington Mystics wearing shirts that spelled out Jacob Blake’s name, lock arms on court on Wednesday, the first day of the league’s stoppage.
(Twitter / @WNBA)

WNBA games will return Friday, but as Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith tweeted, “It is NOT ‘business as usual’ today.”

After a two-day stoppage as players and the league reacted to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, the WNBA will resume play, including the Sparks’ game against the Connecticut Sun at 5 p.m. As opposed to calling the suspension of play a strike or a boycott, Sparks forward and players union president Nneka Ogwumike called it a “moment of reflection” Thursday as players who have already been at the forefront of social justice by championing the #SayHerName movement this season wanted to “recommit” themselves to the fight.

Athletes in the NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NFL, NHL and professional tennis refused to take part in scheduled events in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

“The games resume tonight,” the WNBA said in a statement that included a photo taken Wednesday when four teams, including the Washington Mystics wearing shirts that spelled out Blake’s name, locked arms on the court on the first day of the stoppage. “The fight for justice and equality never stops.”

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The Minnesota Lynx and Atlanta Dream also play Friday at 4 p.m. PDT while the Mystics play the Mercury at 7 p.m. PDT. The Sparks (10-3) are playing for their eighth straight win and are in third place in the league standings.

The WNBA announced Friday afternoon a revised schedule for the six games that were postponed during the stoppage, moving the Sparks’ matchup with the Lynx that was originally scheduled for Wednesday to Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. PDT. The Sparks’ regular-season finale against the Las Vegas Aces on Sept. 12 was shifted from 5 p.m. PDT to noon to accommodate a game between the Aces and the Seattle Storm, which has been moved to noon on Sept. 13.


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