January 22, 2o17
On Saturday millions across the nation and around the world marched in support of women’s rights. A day after the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump, women, men and children made it clear that women will demand respect and that their rights are human rights. There is a feeling among many that President Trump is a threat to the advancement of women’s rights with the misogynistic rhetoric his campaign spewed, the derogatory comments he was recorded making about women, and his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which made it possible for millions of people to get health insurance that includes coverage for birth control and prenatal care. President Trump has also spoken of his desire to defund Planned Parenthood; an organization that provides low-cost family-planning services and other health care to millions of people every year. The crowds that showed up in Washington D.C. on Saturday trumped the scattered presence at the Inauguration the day before. Dressed in pink and armed with unity and some pretty unique signs and props, the Women’s March 2017 made history. In what doubled as an anti Trump rally, it was not only about the rights of women but also a protest against the Trump administration’s policy positions toward a wide range of groups, including Mexican immigrants, Muslims, and the LGBT community.
As some of the first professional athletes to take a stand against social injustice it comes as no surprise that several WNBA players were in attendance for the Women’s March on Washington. Last summer the WNBA and it’s players were in the spotlight after several teams wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts during game warm-ups, kneeled during the playing of the national anthem, and publicly spoke out against police brutality. Despite some backlash and even fines handed down from the league, which were later rescinded, the players refused to be silenced. The New York Liberty even went as far as not taking questions from the media about anything other than those pertaining to the the message they were sending. Marissa Coleman of the Indiana Fever marched on Saturday and had a lot to say about her experience.
“I wanted to be apart of the millions of people who joined in solidarity to show we will not be silenced. I also needed to be apart of something uplifting and inspirational after such an emotional few months after learning Trump would be our president.”
So again, WNBA players were on the front lines of protest and in support of change. These issues directly affect the women of the WNBA and it’s wonderful to see players being involved and active off the court. The March on Saturday will not be the last you see of these women. Coleman and January both have plans to take action in their home away from home in Indianapolis. They are interested in working with the police department to provide and support educational programs for underprivileged kids in the area. After rallying with thousands of women in the nation’s capital, Coleman left with a feeling of hope. “For the first since Trump has been elected, I felt a sense of hope. I left wanting to do more and be better. I felt inspired leaving.” The women of the WNBA are role models and serve a great purpose to their communities. They are the future leaders in this country and continue to inspire us all.