WNBA, NWSL teams mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Liberty guard AD wears an orange shirt to raise awareness of gun violence ahead of Friday’s game against the Mystics. (Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

The women’s sports world is taking part in National Gun Violence Awareness Day, with leagues and teams speaking out on the issue Friday.

Wear Orange Day comes after a series of mass shootings rocked the nation.

Ten people were killed in a mass shooting in a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket on May 14. Just ten days later, 19 students and two teachers were killed in the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Then, one week later, four people lost their lives in a mass shooting at a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, as of Friday, there already have been 232 mass shootings in the United States this year.

The NWSL and WNBPA released statements ahead of their Friday contests, and many teams joined the calls for action as well.

Houston Dash & Orlando Pride

The Dash will wear a remembrance patch for the victims of the Uvalde shooting for their matchup with the Orlando Pride at 8:30 p.m. ET Friday. The club also announced a donation to the Robb Elementary School Memorial Fund.

Orlando also plans to bring attention to the issue of gun violence, supporting the Wear Orange movement ahead of their NWSL match.

Portland Thorns

The Thorns also will be participating in National Gun Violence Awareness Day, the club said Thursday via Instagram.

“We grieve those who are unable to be here and have lost their lives to gun violence,” the club wrote.

Washington Mystics & Washington Spirit

The Mystics announced an initial donation of $85,000 to Everytown for Gun Safety in conjunction with other D.C. area teams, including the Spirit.

Starting Friday, the Washington teams also vowed to use their platforms to raise awareness. They have changed their social media avatars to orange, and they plan to use their social platforms to broadcast gun violence statistics and data. The clubs also will wear orange warm-up gear and donate proceeds from special events to Everytown.

Chicago Sky

The Sky also have painted their social media orange ahead of their Friday game against the Atlanta Dream, and they posted a message encouraging supporters to wear orange throughout the weekend.

Connecticut Sun

The Connecticut Sun called attention to Gun Violence Awareness Day, with the WNBA team’s players sharing why they wear orange in a video posted to the Sun’s social media Friday.

“Orange is the color we wear on National Gun Violence Awareness Day to honor those whose lives have been taken or forever changed by senseless and preventable gun violence,” the team wrote.

Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix will also be using its social media channels to amplify the issue of gun violence during the squad’s Friday matchup against Connecticut. The WNBA team assembled a collection of resources for its fans to reference and take action on the issue.

Seattle Storm

The Storm demanded action, using their social platform to advocate for change. Seattle also urged fans to wear orange to its Friday night game against the Dallas Wings.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, more than 100 people on average are killed by firearms in the United States every day. The same report shows that the firearm homicide rate in the United States increased by 35 percent from 2019 to 2020.