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WNBA To Begin 2020 Season Amid Controversies

The WNBA is scheduled to start the 2020 season on 7/24/20 with 22 regular-season games instead of the usual 36 games. The season was supposed to tip off on 5/15/20 but everything was postponed due to the virus pandemic.

All 12 WNBA teams will play their games at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida because of the ongoing pandemic.

Chicago Sky assistant coach Bridget Pettis has quit over health and safety concerns as virus cases continue to increase in Florida. She will move on to work with a homeless charity called Project Roots AZ. She had been with the WNBA since its first season in the late 1990s, playing for the Phoenix Mercury and the Indiana Fever during her eight seasons. She retired in 2006 and joined the Mercury as an assistant coach. She also served as an assistant coach for the Dallas Wings and the defunct Detroit Shock during her career.

Some WNBA players want to see the Atlanta Dreams co-owner Kelly Loeffler removed from the team. Loeffler is the U.S Republican Senator from Georgia who made comments seen as offensive in the wake of the national protests against racism and police brutality. A group of legally armed protesters gathered around the Atlanta Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed in a situation with police on 6/12/20. The protesters wanted to set up the area as an “autonomous zone”, which Loeffler referred to as “mob rule” in an interview with Fox News Channel.

Earlier this year, Loeffler was investigated over the selling millions of dollars in stocks just a few weeks after she received government briefings on the status of the virus pandemic. She called the accusations of insider trading “baseless” and said her financial business was handled by “third party advisors” who informed her of the transactions weeks after they were done. The Department of Justice closed the case on 5/26/20 and did not pursue any charges against her.

Las Vegas Aces star Liz Cambage announced that she will not play at all this season due to a pre-existing health condition which could put her at high risk with the virus. A panel of doctors will determine if she is medically exempt. She will receive a full season pay if they deem it’s unsafe for her to play under the circumstances.

WNBA players are allowed skip this season because of the virus, but if they don’t have a medical wavier to excuse them, they will not be paid. As of this report, over a dozen players have decided to opt out of playing due to health concerns or personal issues.

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