The WNBA fined the those teams and their players for wearing the gear. All three teams were fined $5,000 and each player was fined $500 as the shirts violated the league's uniform policy, which requires that uniforms are not altered in any way. That move ignited a firestorm. Players criticized the league — which is largely African-American — for punishing teams and players for social activism. "Instead of the league taking a stance with us, where they tell us they appreciate our expressing our concerns like they did for Orlando, we're fighting against each other," Indiana Fever All-Star Tamika Catchings told The New York Times. She was referring to a move by the league in June: Every team was given shirts in support of the Orlando tragedy, which the players wore.
Today, I decided to not be silent in the wake of the @wnba fines against @nyliberty, @indianafever & @phoenixmercury due to our support in the #BlackLivesMatter movement . Seventy percent of the @wnba players are African-American women and as a league collectively impacted. My teammates and I will continue to use our platform and raise awareness for the #BlackLivesMatter movement until the @wnba gives its support as it does for Breast Cancer Awareness, Pride and other subject matters.