Angel McCoughtry pitches WNBA jerseys with names of police brutality victims to continue activism

Angel McCoughtry is finding ways to continue the fight for social justice when the WNBA returns to play next month in Florida.

McCoughtry, who signed with the Las Vegas Aces in free agency, pitched a jersey idea that would feature the names of those killed or injured by police in place of the players’ names.

McCoughtry pitches jersey idea for activism

She shared the idea on Instagram and published a petition in support of it.

McCoughtry, 33, described the plan:

“I am creating a petition to allow players the ability to put the FIRST & LAST NAME of HUMAN BEINGS that who have been injured or KILLED in incidents involving POLICE BRUTALITY! Even Front line workers during the pandemic

“The goal is also to create a relationship with the families of who’s name the athlete has chosen. This is a way to use our platform to be a helping hand during these trying times.

“Silence is an ally for EVIL and when sports resume WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.”⠀

She shared mock-ups of her No. 35 jersey with the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. A final photo shows a long list of the names of people who were killed by police.

Putting names on the jerseys would ensure that the topic stays on Americans’ minds with life inching back to “normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports, schools and various industries. There will be a larger focus on sports as they return since fans have gone three months without any live action.

The 10-year veteran, all with the Atlanta Dream, said she is working with the Aces and the WNBA for the idea. The petition, which had been signed by nearly 1,500 people as of Tuesday afternoon, is to “encourage players to use their uniform as a platform to promote the names of men and women of color who were injured or killed in incidents involving police brutality.”

Players looking for ways to continue activism

Atlanta Dream’s Angel McCoughtry during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Friday, June 3, 2016, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Angel McCoughtry wants to put the names of people killed or injured by police on WNBA jerseys. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

McCoughtry confirmed in her post that she will play in the WNBA’s 22-game regular season in Bradenton, Florida. The five-time All-Star suffered torn knee ligaments in August 2018 and did not play at all last season. She returned in February to play with Team USA in an exhibition against her alma mater, Louisville.

Renee Montgomery and Natasha Cloud have opted out of the season to pursue social justice reforms on the front lines. Players in both the WNBA and NBA are finding ways to continue their activism while playing basketball.

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