PHILADELPHIA - Delaware County native and WNBA star Natasha Cloud will be sitting out the 2020 WNBA season as she continues her fight for social reform.
Cloud, a member of the reigning Champion Washington Mystics, announced her decision on social media last month, citing a desire to “fight on the front lines for social reform,” while Sanders explained in a statement issued by the club that taking the season off “is what’s best for my health and family.”
“There’s a lot of factors that led to this decision, but the biggest being that I am more than an athlete. I have a responsibility to myself, to my community, and to my future children to fight for something that is much bigger than myself and the game of basketball,” Cloud, Washington’s career leader in assists, wrote on social media. “I will instead, continue the fight on the front lines for social reform, because until black lives matter, all lives can’t matter.”
She added four hashtags to the message, including “TogetherWeStand,” “illbeback” and “2021.”
“We’re trying to do our best to make sure we have an action plan for this week, next month, two months from now, six months from now,” Cloud said recently. “I hate when they are a fad. Once it fades away, people don’t talk about it. This is the life of every black American in this country that doesn’t go away.
(R) Natasha Cloud and (L) Bradley Beal speak at a Juneteenth rally to raise awareness for social justice issues on June 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when a Union general read orders in Galveston, Texas stating al
“We can’t take off the color of our skin. ... It’s extremely important we use our platform and give back to our people. Do what we can so that change does happen.”
Cloud's teammate LaToya Sanders has also opted out of participating in the 2020 season.
Mystics coach and general manager Mike Thibault said the team respects both players’ decisions.
Cloud and Sanders each has been with Washington for five seasons.
“Her commitment to social justice issues is of utmost importance to her and, therefore, to the Mystics organization,” Thibault said of Cloud. “We will continue to be partners with her and all of our players on their commitment to social justice reform as we go forward into this season and beyond.”
Cloud joined Good Day Philadelphia weekend Saturday morning to discuss her plans to sit out.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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