Four off-duty police officers providing security at a WNBA game in Minnesota walked off the job Saturday after players spoke out about police brutality. Several members of the Minnesota Lynx denounced racial profiling as well as the "senseless ambush" of Dallas police during a press conference ahead of a game against the Dallas Wings. Afterward, the team appeared for a warm-up wearing black shirts featuring the names of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, a Dallas Police Department logo, "Black Lives Matter," and the message, "Change starts with us, justice and accountability." President of the Minneapolis Police Federation, Bob Kroll, later praised the Minneapolis officers for leaving their posts, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there," he said. "Rushing to judgment before the facts are in is unwarranted and reckless." Kroll added the four police officers were the only ones working the game "because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw." During the press conference, player Rebekkah Brunson said the team decided to take a stand "in the wake of the tragedies that have continued to plague our society," per the Washington Post. "Racial profiling is a problem. Senseless violence is a problem. The divide is way too big between our communities and those who have vowed to protect and serve us." The WNBA's New York Liberty expressed a similar message Sunday, wearing shirts that read "#BlackLivesMatter" and "#Dallas5." (Read more WNBA stories.)