Police-brutality victims honored on warmup T’s
On Sunday night, before their 1-0 victory against host Utah in their Challenge Cup preliminary-round finale, the Red Stars made an unprecedented move for an NWSL club.
Wearing their official Venus-sponsored warmup shirts with the names of victims of police brutality newly printed on the back, the Red Stars took the field for pregame drills.
“The idea came up to screen-print names of people who have been killed by both police brutality and other effects of systemic racism,” defender Sarah Gorden said.
It all started with a conversation between Gorden and Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler, and from there, the team began making a list of victims to honor.
The Red Stars decided to honor victims from Chicago (such as Laquan McDonald) and women (such as Breonna Taylor).
Taylor’s name was printed on eight warmups to reflect the number of times she was shot by police officers while sleeping in her bed in Louisville, Kentucky.
Defenders Casey Short, who chose to honor Trayvon Martin, and Tierna Davidson, who honored Samuel DuBose with her warmup, helped Gorden make this idea a reality. They had provided a deeper level of support when things got challenging emotionally, so it was natural to lean on them, Gorden said.
Gorden’s warmup T-shirt had Tamir Rice’s name on the back. Her son, Caiden, played a role in Gorden choosing to honor Rice, a 12-year-old who was killed by a white police officer in Cleveland.
“I have a Black son,” Gorden said. “So Tamir’s case has a very special place in my heart.”
Gorden is hopeful these warmups will spark new conversations and remind people that the fight against police brutality, injustice and systemic racism is far from over.
Casey Short scored in the 85th minute.
Tierna Davidson (left) and Sarah Gorden display the names of victims Sunday night in Utah.