Washington Mystics hold media blackout in aftermath of Texas shooting

Mystics guard Natasha Cloud wore a shirt to promote gun violence awareness ahead of Tuesday’s game. (Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Washington Mystics held a media blackout after their win against the Dream on Tuesday, choosing to focus attention not on the game but on the elementary school shooting in Texas earlier that day in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.

Mystics guard Natasha Cloud represented the team in providing a statement to reporters after the contest.

“We have an issue in this country. Not only white supremacy, we also have a gun violence issue,” she said. “This is us using our platform, right? This game doesn’t matter. … The 18 lives – and the number is going up by the minute – that were lost today from senseless gun violence in Texas at an elementary school, we’re talking about our kids not being safe to go to school and our government is still not implementing sensible gun laws.

“This isn’t about taking people’s rights away from bearing arms. This is about putting sensible gun laws in so this doesn’t happen again. We cannot continue to make the same mistakes. We cannot continue to allow these things to happen in our country and nothing is being done with it for money, for profit.

“So I’m calling on everyone. Please put this out. Post it. Write to your not only local representatives but your federal representatives and tell them you are tired. Tell them that we are tired of lives being lost in this country for senseless [expletive]. It is time to implement gun laws and stop caring about profit and money over people and lives.

“If our government is not going to do our job, then we’ve got to do our job and come together as a community because this is absolutely ridiculous at this point. To the families in Texas, the Mystics are sending our love, our prayers. We prayed for you all today. And we’ll continue to pray for you and we will continue to fight for you. And we’ll fight for everyone in this country.”

During warmups, Cloud wore an orange tie-dyed shirt from the Everytown for Gun Safety organization.

This wasn’t the first time that Cloud and the Mystics have held a media blackout in the wake of gun violence. Following a string of shootings at schools in the D.C. area in 2019, the team held a blackout ahead of a game against Seattle.

“When you’re talking about changing a culture, when you’re talking about ending a cycle, when you’re talking about empowering our youth and giving them opportunities, it starts with their education. And our kids can’t even feel safe to go to school right now. What are we doing? We gotta do better for our youth,” Cloud said in Instagram videos at the time.