Saturday, 08 August, 2020

WNBA announces return in Florida with 'commitment to social justice'

Cary Erickson | 02 August, 2020, 03:43

The league said it will continue to work with medical specialists, public health experts and government officials to create a comprehensive set of guidelines for medical protocols and protections for game safety.

"As home to some of the world's leading athletes, coaches and performance experts, IMG Academy is thrilled to partner with the top women's basketball players in the world and the entire WNBA family", said Tim Pernetti, Executive Vice President, IMG Events & Media.

The league will play 22 regular season games, followed by playoffs, all without an in-person audience.

The WNBA's latest return-to-play proposal would see its players hit the court in July for a shortened, 22-game season during which they would receive 100 per cent of their salaries, according to a report from ESPN's Mechelle Voepel.

Arizona State University football schedule released, season opens with Territorial Cup
Allowing specifically USC and UCLA , two Pac-12 cornerstones, to begin August 17 doesn't seem feasible at the moment. A revised Pac-12 football schedule for the 2020 season was also included in the release.

Each of the league's 12 teams will train and play starting next month at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., a neutral site as there are no current WNBA teams playing in the state. A typical WNBA season includes 36 games.

The league's announcement also stressed a commitment to giving players a platform to drive actionable social justice reform as protests of racial inequality and police brutality continue across the country. Atlanta also drafted 5-9 guard Chennedy Carter out of Texas A&M with the fourth overall selection in the 2020 WNBA Draft. The league had some flexibility in its schedule because it had planned for a break from late July to early August to allow players to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed to 2021.

"We have always been at the forefront of initiatives with strong support of #BlackLivesMatter, #SayHerName, the LGBTQ+ community, gun control, voting rights, #MeToo, mental health and the list goes on", Women's National Basketball Players Association President Nneka Ogwumike said in the statement. Games will be played without fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The regular season will tip-off in late July after each squad gets ample time to train during training camp.