The WNBA is in full swing in Bradenton, Florida as teams have started practicing for the season tip-off next weekend. As teams prepare to start their season, the league has plans to dedicate opening weekend to the Black Lives Matter movement. All aspects of the game and player outfitting will be designed to affirm Black Lives Matter and honor victims of police brutality and racial violence.
“As we build on the momentum for women’s sports and the WNBA from last season, we’re incredibly grateful to our broadcast partners who have shown a continued commitment to bringing the WNBA to fans across the country on their biggest platforms. This 2020 WNBA season will truly be one unlike any other, and we’re looking forward to using our collective platform to highlight the tremendous athletes in the WNBA as well as their advocacy for social change.”WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert
WNBA Tip-Off 2020 gets underway on July 25 with 2018 WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm meeting 2020 No. 1 overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty (12 p.m. ET, ESPN). That game will be followed by a matchup of All-Star-laden teams when the Los Angeles Sparks, led by Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, tip off against Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury (3 p.m. ET, ABC). A matchup of the Indiana Fever vs. the defending champion Washington Mystics rounds out the first day of action (5 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network).
Triple-header coverage on Sunday, July 26, tips off at 12 p.m. ET (ESPN) when the Connecticut Sun, which returns to the court after reaching the WNBA Finals in 2019, faces the Minnesota Lynx. The Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces will follow at 3 p.m. ET (ABC) in a rematch of teams that battled to a thrilling, last-second finish in the second round of the playoffs a year ago. A clash between the Dallas Wings and Atlanta Dream will then cap the day (5 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network).
During the national triple-header telecasts on July 25-26, team uniforms will display Breonna Taylor’s name as WNBA players raise awareness and seek justice for the women and girls who have been the forgotten victims of police brutality and racial violence. Players will individually have the option to continue to wear the placard with Breonna Taylor’s name for subsequent games. Additionally, throughout the season, players will wear warm-up shirts that display “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back. “Black Lives Matter” will also be prominently displayed on courts during games.
“We are beyond excited to have the WNBA resuming play on our family of networks with a 24-game regular season slate,” said Carol Stiff, ESPN’s vice president of programming and acquisitions. “Our continued collaboration with the WNBA has resulted in a schedule that features every team in the league, three appearances by the reigning champion Washington Mystics and the professional debut of No. 1 draft pick Sabrina Ionescu, all further spotlighting the amazing talent that is the WNBA.”
The complete 2020 regular-season schedule is available at wnba.com/schedule.