As the uprising centered around the killing of Rayshard Brooks swells throughout Atlanta, WNBA veteran and Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery announced on Thursday morning that she will sit out the 2020 WNBA season to continue the fight toward social justice reform, writing, “Moments equal Momentum.”
After much thought, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season. There’s work to be done off the court in so many areas in our community. Social justice reform isn’t going to happen overnight but I do feel that now is the time and Moments equal Momentum. Lets keep it going!
— Renee Montgomery (@itsreneem_) June 18, 2020
A two-time champion with the Minnesota Lynx, the 31-year-old Montgomery figured to be a key part of Atlanta’s backcourt rotation, but she has been heavily involved in the protests that have occurred following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor over the past several weeks.
Montgomery becomes the first pro athlete to announce they will not play the 2020 season because of the work to be done regarding systemic racism in America. Both the NBA and WNBA have been public about allowances that will be made for players to sit out (without pay) to take part in the ongoing movement. Still, both leagues have also reportedly worked closely with their players to find a way to use the platform of the pro basketball season to present a unified front against racism and toward systemic change.
The WNBA and its players agreed this week to move forward with plans to begin the season around July 24 in Bradenton, Fla., on the IMG Academy Campus.