It’s back to the drawing board for the Dallas Wings and their Rebel uniform.
Released in celebration of the league’s 25th anniversary season, the jersey was designed to honor Women Airforce Service Pilots. However the team, the WNBA and Nike pulled the jersey after finding out that the program excluded Black women.
“The recently unveiled Dallas Wings Nike Rebel Edition uniform was designed to celebrate a group of Texas-based women pilots during World War II,” Nike, the WNBA and the Wings said in a statement to TIME regarding the joint decision to pull the uniform. “Nike, the WNBA and the Dallas Wings recently learned the history of the program does not align with our shared values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
“As a result, the Dallas Wings will not wear this uniform on court, Nike and its partners are removing it from retail, and Nike and the Wings will work together on a new Nike Rebel Edition uniform design for the future.”
Some fans have highlighted how the controversy showcases the WNBA’s seemingly surface-level commitment to diversity.
Good intentions only get you so far without actual intentional work to back it up https://t.co/qrsuTjed3x— Savage at its Finest (@kmfennell1011) April 15, 2021
Good intentions only get you so far without actual intentional work to back it up https://t.co/qrsuTjed3x
Jasmine Baker, a women’s sports culturalist who first noted the issue on social media, called it a “fundamental issue.”
Former Wings Chief Marketing Officer Nicole Smith, who left the organization in 2017, told TIME that a solution will require “an intentional culture shift where black women are seen, heard, considered and, most importantly, valued.”