*Minnesota Lynx players did not wear their T-shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of today’s game in San Antonio, after four off-duty police officers walked away from security jobs at a Lynx game over the weekend due to the tees.
The shirts worn before Saturday’s game in Minneapolis against the Dallas Wings listed the names of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, two black men fatally shot by police in Minnesota and Louisiana. The shirts also showed the Dallas police shield above the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”
Five officers in Dallas were fatally shot last Thursday by a sniper during a protest over the two slayings. Lynx spokeswoman Ashley Carlson said the players would not be wearing the BLM clothing in Texas.
“The Lynx organization was made aware about the concerns of the off duty Minneapolis police officers,” the team said. “While our players message mourned the loss of life due to last week’s shootings, we respect the right of those individual officers to express their own beliefs in their own way. … We continue to urge a constructive discussion about the issues raised by these tragedies.”
In a statement Tuesday, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said while the officers were working security on behalf of the Lynx, she expects all officers “to adhere to our core values and to honor their oath of office” when wearing a Minneapolis police uniform.
“Walking off the job and defaulting on their contractual obligation to provide a service to the Lynx does not conform to the expectations held by the public for the uniform these officers wear,” Harteau said.
Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he commends the officers. He said they took their names off of a list of officers to work future games.