Basketball star Breanna Stewart: ‘Black Lives Matter’ deserves the WNBA’s support

Over the course of the past month, several WNBA teams and their players have spoken out on gun violence and the need to support all people. For their efforts, they were initially fined by the league — not because of the message, the WNBA claimed, but because of a violation of the uniform policy.

Shortly after those fines were initially levied, the WNBA rescinded its discipline and promised to address the issue with its players during the current break in the regular season for the Olympics.

Seattle Storm rookie Breanna Stewart was one of the players who helped give voice to this important message. She recently spoke to FOX Sports at U.S. Women’s National Team practice, and according to the 21-year-old, the WNBA’s decision is a step in the right direction. With that said, however, Stewart believes the message remains important — and that it’s crucial for professional athletes to use their platforms.

"I think what we did with the black T-shirts and supporting Black Lives Matter was a team decision, a group decision, an organizational decision," Stewart told FOX Sports. "It deserved to be — it was something that deserved to be said. I think that’s really taking on our platforms as professional athletes and using them the best we can."

"I think [the fines being rescinded] is great," she added. "I think that to have the WNBA and the players and the teams and organizations all be on the same page, supporting the same things, going for the same things, that’s huge. That’s a step in the right direction. I’m sure there’s going to be more things to come when WNBA gets back rolling."

Asked if she had a message beyond the T-shirts, Stewart reflected on the sanctity of life:

"I don’t know what I would say to any specific person, but just realizing that this is — I just can’t get over the fact that this is people’s lives we’re talking about. And I think that’s the biggest issue, and just realizing that a person’s life is so precious. That’s their one time to do what they want. And you want to make sure that everybody has that opportunity, and all that’s been going on deserves to be stood up for. Gun violence, all that, it needs to stop."

For more on Stewart, check out our recent profile on the most dominant 21-year-old the game has ever seen.