WASHINGTON — The Washington Mystics are helping to continue the legacy of Washington D.C. being the "District of Change." Thursday, the team unveiled their new Nike rebel edition uniform.
Nike has partnered with the WNBA for its game uniforms since 2018. However, this season, both parties wanted to make a statement as the league prepares for its 25th season. The Mystics wanted to honor those that came before them and acknowledge the continued progress.
The "Rebel Edition" uniforms take inspiration from the Women's March. The 2017 Women's Marches across the nation were the largest single-day protest in world history. The front of the jersey says "rise" in the same shade of pink that became synonymous with political protests, like the Women's March. The 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, is also written on the white lines on the jersey, which outlines the route of the Women's March in D.C.
In this era of sports, female athletes are standing up, speaking out, and demanding their fair share.
"Our team is built upon the principles of inclusion and resiliency, supporting one another, arm in arm, in the face of adversity," the Mystics said in a team statement. "Every knee taken, every fist quietly raised is a step forward in the movement for true equality. And until fully realized, we challenge the status quo and call upon ourselves and others to act, to persevere against the barriers that uphold injustice."
Each WNBA game jersey is numbered 1/144, honoring the 144 elite athletes who earned their place in the world’s premier women’s basketball league. The new WNBA uniform system from Nike features three game uniform editions for each of the 12 teams in the league, bringing stories from their cities and communities to life through the muse of female archetypes in storytelling and film:
- WNBA Nike Heroine Edition
- WNBA Nike Explorer Edition
- WNBA Nike Rebel Edition
“The basketball uniform is an important representation of the brand of WNBA players and teams, and a point of pride for fans,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “In partnership with Nike, unveiling new and exciting adaptations of the WNBA uniforms is a dynamic way to build on the foundation of the league’s first 25 years.”
The Washington Mystics have used their platform for change before. In honor of Juneteenth, the Mystics and Wizards marched from Capital One Arena to the MLK Memorial.
Mystics guard Natasha and her WNBA colleagues are staying active in the fight against social injustice and police brutality, participating in protests and sticking with the work they began four years ago. Last summer, Cloud became the first women's basketball player to sign a shoe deal with Converse for her activism as much as her basketball skills.
“Millions of people are helping to protect those racist cops, and who are helping to insulate those in power, by staying ‘neutral,'" Cloud said. “It’s to tell them that their silence is the knee on George Floyd’s neck. If you’re silent, I don’t [mess] with you, period.”
The Mystics have yet to release their 2021 WNBA schedule.