The New York Liberty played the Atlanta Dream on September 3 in the Liberty’s Fourth Annual Unity Day Game. The Liberty lost 62-56 in a tough defensive battle, but the importance of this game cannot be measured in the won/loss column.
The Unity Day Game was rescheduled from the original date of August 27 due to the walkout for justice that day. Like several other pro teams, the Liberty opted not to play that day to keep their voices strong in their effort to bring social change.
The Liberty and the rest of the WNBA continue to push for equality and social progress, The Unity Day Game is another way they choose to use their platform to raise awareness and bring change.
In the morning media session, players Layshia Clarendon and JKia Nurse expressed their thoughts on the game, team and issue.
After a successful career at the University of California, Clarendon was selected by the Indiana Fever in the 1st round (9th overall) of the 2013 WNBA draft. The guard played three seasons with Indiana, before moving on to the Dream. Midway through the 2018 season, she joined the Connecticut Sun, for whom she played through last season. She joined the Liberty this season. In her career, over eight seasons, she has played 217 games, averaging 7.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3 assists and .6 steals per game. She has a history of being a vocal advocate for social issues.
Nurse starred at Connecticut and was selected by the New York Liberty in the 1st round (10th overall) of the 2018 WNBA draft. In her three seasons, she has played 87 games, averaging 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2 assists and .7 steals per game.
Both women spoke passionately about the Unity Day Game. It would have been nice if this game was played on a bigger stage in front of thousands of fans in attendance and many more watching on television, but the significance is still the same. The players continue their goal of making statements and leading the charge.