Black female victims of police brutality honored by WNBA's Seattle Storm with hidden message on championship rings

·2 min read
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The Storm's rings include a reference to WNBA players' efforts to spotlight the "Say Her Name" campaign and Breonna Taylor throughout the 2020 season. Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
  • The WNBA's Seattle Storm won their fourth title as a franchise in 2020.

  • The players received their championship rings ahead of their 2021 season debut this weekend.

  • "Say Her Name" is etched into the rings - a reference to the league's social justice efforts.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Seattle Storm earned some glitzy hardware this weekend in honor of their dominant WNBA championship victory last season.

Ahead of their first game of the 2021 season, Seattle players were presented with their 2020 championship rings, which commemorate their fourth title as a franchise. But the Storm's championship jewelry is about more than just basketball - its design references the WNBA's commitment to social justice, too.

Etched into Seattle's gold rings are a raised fist and the words "Say Her Name," a signal of the players' continued commitment to the Black women victims of police brutality.

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It's a fitting culmination of the 2020 WNBA campaign, which saw the league's athletes devote their season to promoting the "Say Her Name" message. Players vocally pushed for justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who was killed by Louisville police officers in March 2020 when they mistakenly raided her home while she was asleep.

All 144 athletes who partook in the WNBA's 2020 season in Bradenton, Florida, wore Breonna Taylor's name on the backs of their jerseys. Some players also spoke with Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, as well as elected officials and organizers to get a better understanding of how they could help the cause.

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The Seattle Storm honor Breonna Taylor before a 2020 WNBA game. AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

In a new documentary about the season produced by WNBA player Chiney Ogwumike, Palmer spoke about how much she appreciated the players' efforts and support for her daughter.

"You're no longer doing it alone," Palmer says in the film, called "144." "And so some days, I don't have to stand up so straight because of them."

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Though the 2021 WNBA season looks different from last year in many ways, players are still committed to raising awareness for Say Her Name, women like Breonna Taylor, and other social justice initiatives. For the Storm, who are favorites to become champions again this fall, the triumphs and struggles of the 2020 season are forever enshrined in their championship bling.

Check out a closer look at Seattle's 2020 championship rings below:

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