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4 Cops Walk After WNBA Players Proclaim 'Black Lives Matter'

Minneapolis Lynx

Off-duty police officers abandoned their posts at a Minnesota Lynx game after players wore apparel with slogans that protested racial profiling.

A WNBA team sparked full-court press for a Black Lives Matter-inspired demonstration.

The Minnesota Lynx wore black warm-up gear Saturday night at Minneapolis's Target Center in protest of racial profiling.

The text "Change Starts With Us, Justice & Accountability" was on the front of their jerseys. The back was printed with "Black Lives Matter," the emblem of the Dallas Police Department, and the names of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were both killed last week by police gunfire.

Beforehand, captains Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, and out star Seimone Augustus held a press conference to discuss the recent shootings.

Brunson, who read from prepared remarks, said the clothing was meant "to honor and mourn the loss of precious American citizens and to plead change for all of us," reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

"In the wake of the tragedies that have continued to plague our society, we have decided it's important to take a stand and raise our voices," Brunson said. "Racial profiling is a problem. Senseless violence is a problem. The divide is way too big between our communities and those who have vowed to protect and serve us."

In addition to racial profiling, the players also condemned the "senseless ambush" in Dallas, where a gunman recently killed five police officers during a protest.

Not everyone was a fan of the sartorial protest. The apparel and press conference led four off-duty police officers who were providing security at Saturday's game to quit their posts and walk out.

"I commend them for it," said Lt. Bob Kroll, the president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, a police union. He added, "If [the Lynx] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there."

In response, the team released a statement saying, "We respect the right of those individual officers to express their own beliefs in their own way." However, the team stood by the players' demonstration.

"We continue to urge a constructive discussion about the issues raised by these tragedies," the statement read.

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