The expected outpouring of support for the Minnesota Lynx was not forthcoming Friday in the team’s first home game since off duty police officers walked off the job earlier that week.
Despite expectations that the game would sell out following controversy earlier in the week, the game’s attendance ended up being lower than the season’s average for the Lynx, at just 8,123 according to Fox 9.
Four off-duty Minneapolis police officers working in the capacity of security contractors walked off the job at a Lynx home game last Saturday. Lynx players wore Black Lives Matter warm-up jerseys and spent their press conference prior to the game denouncing racial profiling.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told the Star Tribune that, “They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw.”
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges had a profanity laced Facebook post in regards to Kroll’s comments reported City Pages.
“Bob Kroll’s remarks about the Lynx are jackass remarks,” Hodges wrote, “Let me be clear: labor leadership inherently does not speak on behalf of management. Bob Kroll sure as hell doesn’t speak for me about the Lynx or about anything else.”
Friday’s game was fully staffed by Minneapolis Police for security measures, as Kroll told Fox 9 that all issues with the team had been fully resolved since last Saturday.
In spite of both Kroll and Hodges’ emphatic remarks, the team saw no significant change in turn out for their win over the New York Liberty on Friday night. The political aspects of last week’s occurrence were left at the door as people showed up for the same reason as any other night: to watch a game of basketball.
“The players had a right to go public with their views,” Lynx regular Marijo Meyer told the Star Tribune, “And, I don’t know if I fault the cops for doing what they did. There’s a lot of turmoil around and I don’t know if anything is the right answer. Right now, I just want to watch a good basketball game.”