"In the US I felt that I would never really understand what it is to black”
In protest at another incident in which an Afro-American became the victim of police violence in the United States, basketball players in the NBA and the WNBA didn’t play the games that had been planned for Wednesday evening.
The Fleming Ann Wauters spent many years as a player in the WNBA. She moved to America aged 20 to play for the Cleveland Rockers, spent two periods with New York Liberty and also played for San Antonio Silver Stars, Seattle Storm and the Los Angeles Sparks. As such she knows the United States well, particular the world of basketball in the country.
On Thursday morning Ann Wauters was a guest in VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’. She told listeners that "80% of the players in the NBA and WNBA are black and they have had enough. They want a better America. They have a loud voice and a large stage and are able to command a lot of attention with their boycott”.
"This was already being talked about in the dressing rooms four years ago. I have spent many summers in the States and the presence of the race issue can be felt. It was only there that I felt what it is to be white and realised that I would never fully understand what it is to be black”.
"Black people in the States are never treated entirely equally and it is very difficult for whites to realise this completely. This is why it is a good thing that the NBA and WNBA players are speaking out to demand real change”.
"LeBron James (a NBA player) has written on Twitter that he has had more than enough. He wants real change. This is why I don’t rule out the possibility of the NBA and WNBA stopping altogether. That would have a lot of impact and hopefully be a catalyst for change, although it won’t be easy”, Ann Wauters concluded.