- Jessica Hill/AP
Four Minneapolis police officers left their posts at a Minnesota Lynx game Saturday night because of the team’s statement about the recent shootings, according to Randy Furst of the Star Tribune.
Lynx players came out wearing shirts that read, “Change starts with us, justice and accountability,” with the names of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, the Dallas Police Department emblem, and “Black Lives Matter” on the back.
Castile was killed during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota; Sterling was killed during an incident with police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and five police officers were killed in Dallas, Texas, during a protest rally, all last week.
Here’s a look at the shirts:
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) July 12, 2016
Here’s the back of the shirts:
Players for WNBA’s Lynx wore these shirts and the cops working security walked off the job in protest pic.twitter.com/6zYj1arJcq
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 12, 2016
The four officers also took their names off the list of police to work future Lynx games.
Afterward, Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation, said, “I commend them for it.”
Kroll also said that other officers are aware of the shirts and may not work future games.
Prior to the game, Lynx forward Maya Moore said:
“If we take this time to see that this is a human issue and speak out together, we can greatly decrease fear and create change. Tonight we will be wearing shirts to honor and mourn the losses of precious American citizens and to plead for change in all of us.”
Kroll criticized players for supporting “false narratives,” according to Furst, and for jumping to conclusions before all of the facts of the cases are known.
Kroll said that because police officers work Lynx games on independent contracts, they can start or stop a job whenever they want.