Po­lice-bru­tal­ity vic­tims hon­ored on warmup T’s

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - acosta­bile@sun­times.com | @An­nieCosta­bile AN­NIE COSTABILE

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.

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