Jacki Gemelos spoke to HollywoodLife solely about why the Washington Mystics determined to boycott their recreation in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter motion.
WNBA gamers made a powerful assertion in honor of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot by a Kenosha, WI police seven occasions. The Washington Mystics took the courtroom in white shirts that spelled out Jacob’s identify on the entrance, and had seven bullet holes on the again, representing the seven occasions he was shot. Whereas the Milwaukee Bucks, and the remainder of the NBA have stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter motion, the WNBA has been no exception. We spoke to Mystics star Jacki Gemelos about why her staff made such a powerful stance.
“Our head coach, Mike Thibault got here up with the thought of getting the gunshots on the again of the t shirts … I got here up with an concept that was generated from a buddy of mine within the bubble, Robyn Brown. She requested me what number of gamers have been on our staff and I stated 10. She was like, ‘Jacob Blake, that’s 10 letters, why don’t you all put the letters on the entrance of the shirts’ and I assumed that was superb and a fantastic concept. I introduced that to my staff and determined to do it,” she instructed HollywoodLife solely.
Jacki additionally opened up about why their staff determined to boycott the sport earlier within the week. “I believe it was actually vital, particularly for the Washington Mystics to make noise,” she stated. “We got here into the sport realizing we weren’t going to play and didn’t need to play. I actually commend the group of ladies for standing by what we believed in regardless that different groups have been making an attempt to affect in any other case.” The basketball star stated the staff have been impressed by the Bucks’ robust stance, which made them the primary NBA franchise within the league’s historical past to boycott a recreation over social justice points.
“We thought it was our duty, regardless that we don’t generate as a lot of a fan base and income and issues like that … [it] doesn’t take away the truth that we wished our voices heard as nicely,” Jacki stated. “That’s the reason we put on Breonna Taylor‘s identify on the again of our jerseys and that’s the reason we now have been advocating for Black Lives Matter this complete season and I believe that otherwise we took a stand and that was to not play the sport, and never enjoying in the present day and selecting up issues tomorrow, simply making that noise and assertion was vital to us.”
Jacki additionally stated feminine basketball gamers have been at a “drawback” when standing up for social justice points, as a result of they aren’t afforded the identical “respect” as their male counterparts. “I have already got had loopy feedback [on Instagram]. It’s simply sort of a watch roll, it doesn’t have an effect on me personally,” she stated. “[We have] staff unity and are behind each other, together with the workers and the referees and everybody within the bubble. All of us sort of don’t care or give a s**t what anybody else has to say or their political opinions. That is the place we stand and that is who we’re and that is what it’s.”