Natasha Cloud made ample time this year to focus on things far bigger than herself and her career — systemic racism, police brutality, and social injustices.
The Washington Mystics guard and activist, who opted out of this year’s WNBA season to tackle injustices and recently terminated her contract with with Italian Club team Famila Schio due to coronavirus concerns, was revealed Tuesday as a cover star for The Red Bulletin’s December issue. Veteran point guard Renee Montgomery was also featured in the story and landed a cover of her own.
Cloud and Montgomery, who also opted not to participate in this Summer’s WNBA season, dished on why they sat out and how they spent their time away from the basketball court.
Cloud appeared on the cover with her signature, wide grin while bouncing a basketball, admitted feeling exhausted.
“As a Black American, it takes a different type of drain on you, to have to continuously be vulnerable and emotional with people in talking about what’s going on in our country right now and how it directly affects us,” Cloud said in an interview with Tamryn Spruill. “I’m not even gonna try to put on a front. I really struggled.”
Cloud also talked about voter suppression in D.C. and how she wanted to help secure Capital One Arena and Entertainment and Sports Arena, the Mystics home arena, as polling locations.
“The voter suppression has been terrible there for years,” said Cloud “There’s been voters who said that they have waited five hours in line just to cast a vote. So our first initiative was to get Capital One Arena, which is where the Wizards play, available as a polling location. And we got that done.”
The Mystics home arena, which also serves as the Wizards’ practice facility, wasn’t a polling location until Cloud took to Twitter.
How do we get #ESA to be a central location for wards 7 & 8? Voter suppression and long lines within this community could be the difference. @WashMystics @WashWizards @TheEventsDC @MSE— Natasha Cloud (@T_Cloud4) September 23, 2020
“I found out that the Entertainment and Sports Arena had said no to being the poll location for Wards 7 and 8, Cloud said. “I immediately took to social media to make sure that all my followers knew that this is what was going on, but also to put pressure on the CEO of the Entertainment and Sports Arena. For me, it was holding them accountable.”
Equity. Equity is wards 7 & 8 being able to cast their votes as easily as wards 1&2. We desperately need change within our lower economic communities..voting (state, local, & federal) has direct impact on that change. @TheEventsDC https://t.co/e6DSKJQX3H— Natasha Cloud (@T_Cloud4) September 23, 2020
Cloud’s dedication to uplifting Black and Brown communities didn’t start this year and knowing her, it won’t end this year either.