Sports

WNBA players speak out in support of high school student-athletes fighting institutional racism

Erica Wheeler spoke up for the students.

Erica Wheeler spoke up for the students.
Image: Getty Images

WNBA players stood in solidarity with two high school girls student-athletes from American Heritage School near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after the school suspended their basketball game Thursday because they wore #BlackLivesMatter black t-shirts.

The students, named Jordana Codio and Khadee Hession, decided to wear the BLM shirts after one of their peers allegedly posted a racial slur in a virtual class chat a few weeks ago. The school never disciplined the student.

Codio and Hession have gone to Indiana Fever guard Erica Wheeler’s basketball camp in the past. Wheeler took to Instagram in support of their efforts saying:

“Keep standing for what you believe in Khadee Hession! American Heritage School is this how you treat black athletes? So take away the one thing they love because of what they believe in? Wow says a lot about your school!”

The WNBA Finals MVP, Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm, along with Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics, also spoke out on their Instagram stories in support of the girls.

Stewart wrote, “It’s not a political statement. It’s real life,” speaking on #BlackLivesMatter shirts the girls wore.

Cloud wrote, “The administration that tried to silence these athletes by canceling games because of a BLM t-shirt should be dismissed,” adding, “Institutional racism is alive and thriving still in our education system.”

To these young athletes, keep on fighting. Don’t let this behavior by your school deter your efforts for change. And once again, thank you to the WNBA for continuing to stand up and supporting the movement for Black lives. 

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