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WNBA Boycott: Mystics' Ariel Atkins delivers powerful message after Kenosha shooting, fans say 'cover this, not RNC'

Mystics Guard Atkins said on the match being postponed: 'We’re not just basketball players and if you think we are, then don’t watch us'
UPDATED AUG 27, 2020
Ariel Atkins (Getty Images)
Ariel Atkins (Getty Images)

Washington Mystics' Ariel Atkins was the cynosure of all eyes on Twitter after the WNBA decided it would not play any of the three scheduled games on Wednesday, August 26, as the players elected to not take the court. This was done so as to be more attentive and social justice in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting and the death of Kenosha protesters. 

Talking about the support, Atkins said: "We’re not just basketball players and if you think we are, then don’t watch us,” the Mystics guard said. "We’re so much more than that and we’re going to say what we need to say. And people need to hear that. If they don’t support that, I’m fine with that."

"These moments are so much bigger than us. … If we do this unified as a league, it looks different. … We matter. I think that’s important. I’m tired of telling people that. I know I matter. We know we matter. … If you have a problem with me saying Black Lives Matter, you need to check your privilege. Yes, all lives matter, including the Black lives we’re talking about."

Twitter showered massive praise on Atkins for the inspirational words. "Proud of this one. Powerful words. Meaningful, heartfelt. #support" wrote one of the fans.


The media outlets were asked to focus on this by one of the fans. "@cnnbrk @maddow @MSNBC are you paying attention? Cancel #RNCConvention coverage and follow the news that matters #Kenosha"


"Every person in the world needs to hear what Ariel Atkins just said on ESPN2. I'm in awe, and I'm so f**king heartbroken and angry that it's come to this," said one.


"I'm so proud of them, but I'm so sad and angry that they have to compose themselves like this through unimaginable pain to lead us because our leaders have failed us. This is not their problem to solve, it is ours. Vote. F**king vote for humanity," opined one of the fans.


Calling it a 'powerful' moment another fan praised Atkins saying: 


"Thank you, Ariel Atkins" was one of the most common tweets doing the rounds on August 26. The movement started with the  Milwaukee Bucks earlier in the day when it refused to play in their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The response came in swiftly as other NBA teams quickly supported the decision and all scheduled games were rescheduled.