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  • Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (30) and guard Alana Beard (0).

    Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (30) and guard Alana Beard (0). | Photo: Reuters

Sparks choose to stay in the locker room prior to their game with Minnesota Lynx,  in the first game of the WNBA Finals. 

 

The WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks stayed in the locker room during the U.S. national anthem at the start of its Tuesday night game against the Minnesota Lynx, adding to its continued protest of racism in the United States.

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The Sparks made the decision to miss the anthem again after staying in the locker room for Game 1 of the WNBA Finals Sunday to show solidarity with several National Football League players who kneeled, locked arms, or remained off the field as the anthem played prior to their games that day.

The WNBA released a statement from the Spark from Sunday, "After careful and thoughtful discussion, the players of the Los Angeles Sparks unanimously determined that we would remain in the locker room in solidarity with the many players of the NFL, who took part in demonstrations today all over the country and across the globe. We will use the time to reflect and engage in constructive conversation about our country. This demonstration of support is consistent with who we are as individuals, athletes, teammates, citizens ... This is our opportunity to unite rather than divide our country. This is our sole focus."

This past Sunday and Monday dozens of NFL teams chose to kneel or not attend the singing of the national anthem to protest President Donald Trump’s remarks at a rally in Alabama saying, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired! He's fired!"

The NFL protest highlighted ongoing police violence against Black people in the United States. NFL players, Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid began the movement in August 2016.

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