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m of the uniform policy.WNB

  • May 10, 2019
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Not much went wrong for No. 8 Louisville on Wednesday night as it caught a dangerous foe at a vulnerable time.Jazmine Jones scored a career-high 15 points to lead the Cardinals to a dominating 83-30 victory over South Dakota State.The Cardinals (9-2) extended their winning streak to three games thanks to a strong start and finish to the first half. Louisville scored the games first 11 points and then finished the first half on a 15-0 run to take a 38-14 lead.Jones played a big role in getting the huge lead as she scored 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the first half, easily surpassing her previous high of eight points against Chattanooga on Nov. 21.Itll definitely boost my confidence as we go along this season, Jones said.South Dakota State (8-3), which announced Wednesday that Macy Miller would miss the rest of the season, struggled without their leading scorer. The Jackrabbits committed a season-worst 30 turnovers and shot 19.6 percent from the field.Even without Miller, Louisville coach Jeff Walz said he told his team to not let the Jackrabbits dictate the pace. The Cardinals responded, he said, by playing their best defense all season.I was just really, really pleased with our physical and mental effort tonight, he said.Kerri Youngs 13 points led South Dakota State.Jackrabbits coach Aaron Johnston said the biggest enemy his team has had since Millers leg injury, which she suffered last Friday against Green Bay, has been time. Louisville marked the second game South Dakota State has played in less than a week and the team has also had finals to take.Weve had about three hours in the gym to redefine a lot of roles, he said.Myisha Hines-Allen and Sydney Zambrotta added 10 points each for Louisville.BIG PICTURESouth Dakota State: Granted the Jackrabbits played one of the top teams in the country, but they seemed lost for major stretches of the game. Some of that could be due to missing Miller. Since she went out on Friday, the Jackrabbits have yet to shoot better than 33 percent from the field.Louisville: What was considered a possible upset threat at the beginning of the season turned into a laugher early against the short-handed Jackrabbits. While the Cardinals struggled for a stretch in the first half, they still put on an impressive display against one of the top mid-major programs in Division I.STAT OF THE NIGHTLouisville entered Wednesday having held opponents to single-digit scoring quarters six times this season. On Wednesday, they added three more to that total, with the Jackrabbits getting 11 points in the third quarter. When you factor in the fourth quarter against Western Kentucky, the Cardinals have had four such periods in the past five quarters.INJURIESIn announcing Millers status, school officials said the junior guard, who was averaging 14.9 points a game, would seek a medical redshirt for this season.POLL IMPLICATIONSBeating a team like South Dakota State, which Walz said will still likely pile up victories even with Millers absence, will only serve to boost Louisvilles profile among voters. In the last 10 days, Louisville has registered solid victories over Kentucky, Western Kentucky and the Jackrabbits, all teams which figure to be in the running for tournament bids come March.UP NEXTSouth Dakota State returns home to face Bowling Green on Sunday, a team Louisville beat 83-58 on Nov. 19.Louisville hosts Charleston on Friday in the fifth of six straight home games. Air Jordan Store NZ . "Theyve both been real good," said Babcock. "Havent changed our minds." A decision has seemingly been made - Sundays Group B-deciding tilt against Finland ahead - but it could not have been an easy one. Price opened the tournament with a sturdy 19-save performance against the Norwegians, yielding just one goal. Cheap Jordans NZ . Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan scored shootout goals, and backup goalie Cam Talbot earned his second win in two nights as the Rangers shook off a late tying tally and beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 Monday night. . -- Ryan Getzlaf grabbed the three pucks wrapped in tape and held them up to his chest in the Anaheim Ducks dressing room for a celebration nine seasons in the making. Air Jordan Shoes NZ . The native of Mont-Tremblant, Que., captured a World Cup downhill event Saturday, his second this year and fifth career victory on the circuit. Air Jordans For Sale NZ . Louis Blues absence from top spot in the TSN. WNBA players understand that even as the league celebrates its 20th anniversary season, its still in growth mode. They know theres no foreseeable end for the need to play overseas after the WNBA season ends to supplement their incomes. Theyre used to armoring themselves against insults from that particular species of social-media vermin fixated on belittling female athletes.This unflinching realism makes for a kind of pragmatic, steadfast resolve. Its partly why many WNBA players are aware of social issues and willing to not only talk about them, but engage in their communities. Its a mindset the league publicly takes pride in promoting.But it seems on one issue -- the conflict between police and African-American communities, and the Black Lives Matter movement -- the WNBA is having some internal conflict itself. Which has made players wonder if they really cant fully count on the leagues stated support.Its difficult as players not to do something when theres a topic you want to keep at the forefront, Phoenix forward and union representative Mistie Bass said. Which is why when [WNBA president] Lisa Borders says, We have an incredible stage and platform to take a stance on social issues, its a bit disheartening to see that we werent able to do it this time. And we dont understand why.Three WNBA teams -- New York, Indiana and Phoenix -- were fined $5,000 each, and the individual players $500 each, for wearing black warm-up shirts that were not in compliance with the leagues policy that uniforms cant be altered. The fines came after the league sent a memo earlier this week to every team reminding them of the uniform policy.WNBA teams Minnesota and Dallas also wore special warm-up T-shirts in reaction to the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, and the subsequent shooting deaths of Dallas police officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa.The Lynx and Wings did not wear their shirts after the memo was circulated, which the league said is why they were not fined. What about when some NBA players wore I Cant Breathe T-shirts during warm-ups in 2014 in reaction to the death of Eric Garner and were not fined? The WNBA said that no one wore those shirts after NBA commissioner Adam Silver made a public statement expressing support for the players speaking their minds, but reminding them of the NBAs uniform policy.So it boils down to this: The WNBA was willing to let a few teams wear shirts that didnt comply with uniform rules for one game. Essentially, the league was indirectly saying: OK, well look the other way for a little while, but then well take action.As Borders said in a statement, We are proud of WNBA players engagement and passionate advocacy for non-violent solutions to difficult social issues but expect them to comply with the leagues uniform guidelines.You can understand the leagues point of view about regulating its brand in regard to uniforms. Most professional leagues, if not all, have such standards. Its not unreasonable to expect WNBA players to adhere to that, as they agreed to the uniform standards in their collective bargaining agreement.But the issue is more nuanced than that. The WNBA has had its players wear warm-up shirts expressing support for a variety of causes or to show sympathy. Such as T-shirts in response to the Orlando massacre in June, when 49 people were murdered at a nightclub.According to Bass, what the players wanted in response to the deaths of Sterling, Castile and the Dallas officers was a shirt that was made with the leagues approval and support that could have been worn by all WNBA teams. The fact that didnt happen is what the players are particularly concerned about.The league has done a great job over the years of pushing initiatives that make the world a better place, Indiana guard Briann January said. Were about having strong role models that encourage positivity.This is one of those touchy subjects. There is a fear, maybe, of bad publicity. But when you have so many players that are so passionate about this, are willing to go out and inform others, push these issues to the forefront, and have these conversations that are needed to make change, I think [the leagues] communication with us, and trying to figure out a way to do that, needed to be better.Bass said that the topic was brought up July 11 during the regular monthly call between the league, the unions executive committee, and each teams union representative.We felt there was an urgency to support a stance that the majority of the league is dealing with, and hits close to home for a lot of us, Bass said. It was toward the end of the conversation that we sought to engage thee league on our desire to make a stand and have a T-shirt that would say something.ddddddddddddThey were really reluctant. They said, We have already made a statement and released something with the NBA. But they said they were open to having a conversation about maybe doing something more. But that was the end of it.Bass said she and other players sensed that the league just did not recognize how strongly they felt about this issue.So teams decided to take things into their own hands, Bass said. Thats why you saw Minnesota do what they did, and New York, and others. There was some backlash to that, so we still were trying to engage the league to do something that was uniform for all of the teams.We didnt understand why it was so hard to get them to help us. Because after the situation with Orlando, it was so urgent; we had those T-shirts within a day or two to support that cause. And we did support that; it was necessary. But we didnt understand the difference with this situation, where you had the entire league wanting to say something.Bass said Borders was not on the July 11 call, but she believes perhaps the urgency of the players was not properly relayed to the league president. The WNBA, as of early Thursday evening, did not respond to a request to comment on Bass statements, including whether Borders at some point did listen to the call or was aware of all that was discussed on it.The Womens National Basketball Players Association released a statement Thursday evening.We are extremely disappointed the league chose to punish our players for bringing attention to an issue that continues to impact families and communities across the country, WNBPA director of operations Terri Jackson said. The leagues behavior has been inconsistent.Our players sought only to demonstrate in a constructive way that was consistent with reactions to social issues by NBA players, and with earlier league initiatives, including the recent tragedy affecting the LGBTQ community in Orlando. The leagues decision to try and suppress our players desire to express themselves is shortsighted and arbitrary, and we hope they will reconsider.When the players were informed of the potential of fines for wearing any kind of non-compliant uniform -- even a plain black warm-up shirt -- Bass said it was as if no one in the league was really listening to them.We got those sheets of paper on our chairs in the locker room [Tuesday] right after shootaround, Bass said, that said we needed to wear Adidas team-provided uniforms. We tried to have a happy medium: We wore Adidas shirts, but they werent what the team gave us. And thats why we were fined.Some observers will say that from a protocol standpoint, the league simply followed its rules. And that the players were seeking to bend the rules, which -- if that went unpunished -- might result in future controversies involving other displays on WNBA uniforms or alterations to them.January acknowledges that the league was within their rights to fine the players. She just wishes the WNBA would have worked more with the players instead of seeming to -- from the players perspective -- duck away from the issue.The WNBA is about to have a month-long hiatus for the Olympics, but several of the leagues highest-profile players will remain in the media spotlight as they compete in Rio de Janeiro. Those who arent going will continue to focus on this initiative, January said.If theyre going to continue to fine us, were going to try to continue to find a way to get our voice out there where we work within the rules, January said. But this is not something thats going to go away.Bass and January both stressed how important it was to get the message across that the WNBA players are doing this to help spur dialogue and attempt to find solutions.Having a conversation on race is very tough, January said. But when you go about it the right way, and you attack the issue with information and statistics and support, there is no fight here. Were not out to put up a fight, were asking for change. Its about spreading love, and care, and treating people fairly.Bass said she and other Mercury players are hopeful to have a chance to meet with local police officers to get a better understanding of what they face and to communicate what their concerns are. As Bass said, this is not mere symbolism to the WNBA players.This is about much more than just a shirt, Bass said. Its about starting conversations in our communities to make changes that are systematic. As professional athletes, we have a platform that we may never have again. ' ' '