WNBA closed Chance the Rapper’s All-Star concert over gun concerns

Chance the Rapper participated in the Chicago Sky’s 2021 WNBA championship parade. (Kena Krutsinger/NBAE via Getty Images)

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert cited security issues for the reason Chance the Rapper’s WNBA All-Star concert was closed to the public this weekend.

In her press conference ahead of Sunday’s WNBA All-Star Game, Engelbert told reporters that the live event was closed due to gun violence concerns. She said the concert was “planned for quite some time,” but that fears around recent shootings — notably in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo and Highland Park, Ill. — prohibited the league from opening up the performance to fans.

Engelbert’s remarks come after the WNBA faced criticism Saturday for the lack of fan inclusion during the All-Star weekend.

The WNBA-All-Star festivities are being held in Chicago just six days after a shooting in the city’s suburb of Highland Park left seven people dead.

The United States recorded 306 mass shootings, with at least four injuries or deaths, from the start of 2022 to Sunday, according to the Gun Violence Archive. That number is inching closer to 2021’s record-breaking 327 mass shootings over the same period.