While many feel as though the fines shouldn’t have been issued in the first place, it does come at a relief that the organization decided to withdraw the penalties.
Each team was fined $5,000 and players were given a $500 penalty for breaking the rule firmly stating that uniforms may not be altered in any way. The fine normally is $200 for violating the uniform rule, so the harsh punishment was not met without extreme criticism.
"While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues," WNBA President Lisa Borders said in a statement. "Given that the league will now be suspending play until August 26 for the Olympics, we plan to use this time to work with our players and their union on ways for the players to make their views known to their fans and the public."
The fines were administered on Wednesday (July 20) to the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury, whose players wore black shirts on the court in support of those who have fallen victim to recent incidents of police brutality.
“Appreciate our players expressing themselves on matters important to them,” Borders shared on Twitter when the news of the decision broke. “Rescinding imposed fines to show them even more support.”
Take a look at some reactions to the good news below.
Appreciate our players expressing themselves on matters important to them. Rescinding imposed fines to show them even more support.— WNBAPrez (@WNBAPrez) July 23, 2016
BREAKING: WNBA withdraws fines for teams that showed support of citizens and police involved in recent shootings— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) July 23, 2016
Keep in mind: WNBA athletes make middle-class salaries. These fines are real https://t.co/ed9J6bkGgM— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) July 23, 2016
It's not often you get to choose what side of history you're on. https://t.co/3RZeBnlJ0U— stacy-marie ishmael (@s_m_i) July 24, 2016
Next time, THINK before you punish! https://t.co/i1lvnkQulD— CharmSchoolGraduate (@ProfKCW) July 24, 2016
Keep it off the court you are all professionals. Do what you want on your time. Way to right a wrong decision @WNBA— Lauren (@LaurenRalton) July 24, 2016
(Photo: Twitter via ThinkProgress)