The players of the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) have long since been vocal on behalf of the sports organization, calling attention to social issues that tackle racism, sexism, and more to demand change in the league and beyond.
Ahead of the upcoming season, the organization, alongside the WNBPA (Women’s National Basketball Players Association) Social Justice Council — a collective of athletes and activists that was formed following last summer’s Black Lives Matter protest — will use this initiative as a vessel to highlight the socio-economic factors that significantly impact COVID-19 care for Black women and girls and offer educational tools about the vaccines. It will also promote the importance of prioritizing mental health in communities of color.
As part of the initiative, WNBA players A’ja Wilson, Layshia Clarendon, Elizabeth Williams and Nneka Ogwumike delivered a public service announcement during the 2021 WNBA Draft that was televised on ESPN.
Additionally, the WNBA has partnered with the WNBPA to donate $25,000 to the Black Women’s Health Imperative to help support their mission to protect and advance the health and wellness of Black women and girls. Moreover, the league also plans to set up community vaccine sites in its local markets before the start of the season.
According to a statement from the WNBA, both the PSA and donation spotlight the league’s “Count It” campaign in honor of its 25th season, which will celebrate the players’ history of advocacy for various societal issues.
In a joint partnership, the WNBA and WNBPA Social Justice Council will continue its efforts to power the Justice Movement — a platform that was created last year for players to lead important work in the community to tackle racial and gender inequality, fight for LGBTQ+ rights, and champion systemic reform.
Through these collaborative efforts, the WNBA and WNBPA remain true to their commitment to support social justice and be a driving force for change in America.
The WNBA’s 25th season is slated to kick off on May 14.