Mystics players Cloud, Sanders opt out of 2020 season citing social justice, health concerns

Two Washington Mystics players are sitting out the 2020 campaign, citing social justice goals, as well as health concerns in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Natasha Cloud – who averaged a career-best 9 points per game and 5.6 assists per game in 2019 en route to the WNBA title – said there were a lot of factors in her decision, but, most significantly, was her concern about the community.

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“This has been one of the toughest decisions of my career but I will be foregoing the 2020 WNBA season. There are a lot of factors that led to this decision, but the biggest one is that I am more than an athlete. I have a responsibility to myself, to my community and to my future children to fight for something that is much bigger than myself and the game of basketball. I will instead continue the fight for social reform, because until Black lives matter, all lives can’t matter,” she said.

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Sanders averaged 6.1 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Mystics last season.

COVID-19 has been a major factor in professional sports since it arrived in the U.S. 

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“This was not an easy choice to make, but after much thought and conversation I do believe it is what’s best for my health and family. I wish my teammates and the entire Mystics family the best this season and I will continue to watch and support them,” Sanders said.