(CBS Local)– The women of the WNBA have been at the forefront of the social justice movement in sports and the members of the Chicago Sky are taking things to the next level for residents of the Windy City.
On Tuesday, Chicago’s WNBA team announced a new social justice initiative called “Sky Takes Action,” which will impact several community organizations in Chicago. Under the campaign, all 12 players on the Sky will be donating $10 per point per game, in addition to $100 for every team win of their own money. The team has already donated nearly $1,000 from its first win against the Las Vegas Aces.
The money will be going toward organizations like By the Hand Club for Kids, BYP100, The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), Firehouse Community Arts Center of Chicago and Future Ties. The Sky created this initiative with the help of former Chicago Bear Sam Acho, who already does work for the community with his “Athletes For Justice” Initiative. Sky star Gabby Williams wanted to use this moment to make a bigger impact beyond basketball.
“We decided as a team that if we were going to come play in this bubble season, it was going to be dedicated to fighting racial injustices,” said Williams in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “We wanted to use our platform in the best way possible. Especially in this bubble, it’s the perfect opportunity because we have a lot of eyes on us. This is a big moment for us.”
Williams and her teammates are currently playing the 2020 WNBA season in a bubble with the rest of the league at IMG Academy in Florida. The Chicago Sky star is focused on using this moment to shine a light on Black women.
“One of our organizations is called Future Ties, which is run by an ex-cop and a Black female. We’re constantly facing different intersections of discrimination,” said Williams. “We’re fighting sexism at the same time as racism. A lot of members of the WNBA are fighting against homophobia as well. We’re the most attacked almost and that’s why we want to be the loudest in these situations.
Williams was selected by the Sky as the fourth overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft. The Sky made it to the second round of the WNBA playoffs before losing to the Aces last year. The former UCONN star is excited about the direction of the franchise both on and off the court.
“All of our organizations are minority led and Black led,” said Williams. “Athletes For Justice did a great job of putting us in touch with organizations with that same mindset. We want to put the money in the hands of people who look like us and people who are for us. We’re really excited to represent Chicago. Chicago is so full of culture and violence and systemic racism. Chicago is one of those cities that is a great example of what’s not right with this country. Hopefully we can lead by example.”
Chicago takes on the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.