Mystics deliver pregame message on Charlottesville anniversary

August 12, 2018

Before Sunday’s game against the Dallas Wings, Washington Mystics guard Kristi Toliver addressed the Capital One Arena crowd on behalf of the team to speak out against the “Unite the Right” rally scheduled to happen in the District.

Toliver said it would be “irresponsible to not mention what’s happening down the street” and delivered a minute-long speech that preached inclusivity and equality.

White nationalists are expected to gather in front of the White House on Sunday to mark one year since the deadly race-related riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“We feel shocked at the state of this country and believe hate should never be granted in this platform,” Toliver said. “We believe our purpose is to love and respect people of all backgrounds. We believe that bigotry is never justified. We believe in true equality and we believe in the courage to speak out.”

Without mentioning him, Toliver also alluded to President Trump, who received criticism last year for saying there were some “very fine people” among white nationalists.

“As our leadership fails to provide this inclusive environment, it’s all the more important that we together use our power for good,” Toliver said. “Continue to acknowledge these issues in your daily lives. Speak. Act. But most importantly, live with compassion.”

Last year, Toliver also delivered a message on behalf of the Mystics and the Los Angeles Sparks that commended the violence and racism in a pre-game tribute honoring the victims.