Two major women’s sports leagues were among the loudest voices condemning Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to end Roe v. Wade protection for women’s reproductive freedom.
And at least one men’s team from Major League Soccer (MLS) – Orlando City SC – attacked the decision. The Orlando team’s official statement on social media was especially noteworthy coming from the home state of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, one of the nation’s leading opponents of women’s rights.
Although it is common for athletes to speak out on breaking hot-button issues, leagues and teams are typically more restrained because of their politically diverse audiences and public facing. Not so today for some of the top women’s sports leagues and some teams and unions.
Both the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) issued searing statements criticizing the decision.
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“This decision shows a branch of government that is so out of touch with the country and any sense of human dignity” the WNBA statement began. It went on to encourage Americans to vote, reports sportsnaut.com “We must recognize that when we cast a ballot it is to elect officials and to connect the dots to policies and legislation that align with our values.”
And there was this from the official NWSL Twitter page:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling today denies individual women in this country the full liberty and equality that is the cornerstone of a just society. Reproductive rights are human rights. Until every individual has the same freedom as their neighbor, our work is not done. We will continue to make our voices heard. The NWSL is more than just a soccer league; we are a collective who will stand up every day for what is right.”
Here's what Orlando SC tweeted, in conjunction the Orlando Pride of the NWSL:
“Access to safe reproductive healthcare and having autonomy over one’s body are basic nonnegotiable human rights, and our club deeply objects to today’s Supreme Court decision. Today’s reversal of Roe v Wade is one that will not only put many at risk, disproportionately those in BIPOC and underserved communities, but is one that opens the door for future discrimination and civil rights violations of other marginalized groups.”
Joining the WNBA was its players’ union, the WNBPA:
“This decision shows a branch of government that is so out of touch with the country and any sense of human dignity. This is why we say voting rights are critically important and must be protected. We must recognize that when we cast a ballot it is to elect officials and to connect the dots to policies and legislation that align with our values. “Are we in a democracy where guns have more rights than women? This ruling provides a treacherous pathway to abortion bans that reinforce economic, social and political inequalities and could lead to higher rates of maternal mortality while eviscerating rights to reproductive freedom for everyone.”