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WNBA teams sit out national anthem during season openers

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The return of the WNBA for its 25th season meant that teams would once again navigate how to handle the national anthem. Some opted to just not be on the court.

Players for the New York Liberty, Indiana Fever, Phoenix Mercury, Dallas Wings and Los Angeles Sparks all stayed off the floor as the anthem was played on Friday:

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It's not surprising to see the majority of WNBA teams continue to protest during the national anthem, or at least ignore it. The most socially conscious league in sports saw widespread protests during the anthem last year in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, and Seattle Storm star Sue Bird recently said the players' union was still figuring out how to address it this season, per Erica Ayala.

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner called for the anthem to simply not be played during games after being one of many players to sit out the playing of the song.

The protests figure to continue on Saturday, when four more teams, including Bird's Storm, begin their season.

The national anthem is sung before an empty court before the Indiana Fever take on the New York Liberty in a WNBA basketball game, Friday, May 14, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
The national anthem is sung before an empty court before the Indiana Fever take on the New York Liberty on May 14, 2021 in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

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