It was just announced earlier today that the WNBA season will start after discussions with the league’s players, coaches and officials after COVID-19 had shut down the WNBA season start which was scheduled to start on May 15th. You can read the press release here and read the full details here.
As a WNBA blogger, I am thrilled to see that the season is back. It makes me look forward to seeing live sports again, as we have been without them for three months now. But, as a human being, I am very concerned about this upcoming season. I think that it is absolutely wonderful that the players are getting paid their full salary. I also think it’s great that for players who have a higher chance of contracting coronavirus, can opt out of the season and sill be paid their full salary. I take Elena Delle Donne as an example of this. She could very well opt out of the season for this very reason. I also think many international players will not bother to show up this year because I don’t think they think it is worth the hassle.
On top of all of that, the Black Lives Matter movement has been gaining momentum and the fight towards social justice and equality is very prevalent in the States right now and since the league is made up of a large majority of black women, this is very close to their hearts. Some players may not play for this reason so that they can protest and fight for change, which is their right. Unfortunately, if they do that, they will not be paid their full salary. I should say, the Black Lives Matter matters worldwide as there have been many international protests as well.
This is a tough, tough call. I can understand why the WNBA wants to play, I can understand why some players want to play and why some would opt out. I understand players contracts service years need to be played and that the WNBA would like to generate some type of revenue. I do think the WNBA has always been towards the fore front of social issues and this season they will have a major spotlight, which will be even more brighter this season. But, I don’t know if 2020 is THAT season to shine. I have mixed feelings about all of it and in the end, the human side (not the sports fan/blogger) is telling me, this is not the time for sports. Not now. Not when there is still a global pandemic, with fears of a second wave and social unrest. It just does not feel right.