On Thursday, Mystics guard Natasha Cloud called out D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser and Ward 8 Councilman Trayon White to address making schools safer after a couple shootings hit a school less than two miles away from the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Southeast.
According to Lesly Salazar and Sam Ford of WJLA-TV, two stray bullets from a shooting hit Hendley Elementary School on Wednesday during a movie night. Students were inside during that ordeal. That followed a May 30 incident when another stray bullet hit the school, but no students were inside then.
So how did Cloud get involved in this? She and Ariel Atkins went to Hendley Elementary School on Thursday. And look at the kids sing!
Oh btw, here's a video of @T_Cloud4 at Hendley ES watching the kids sing. They really shouldn't have to deal with gun violence at such a young age, right?— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) June 14, 2019
So no wonder why she's fired up!#TogetherDC pic.twitter.com/jONupriE6r
During her time at Hendley, Cloud learned about the fact that there were multiple shootings where bullets struck the school. She release a series of Instagram videos that we merged below.
.@T_Cloud4 released a video about stray bullets penetrating Hendley ES earlier today. Here are four IG story videos we've combined together so you get here message (1/2) pic.twitter.com/TmTMaOTtKL— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) June 14, 2019
In it, Cloud called out Mayor Bowser and Councilman White that there were no apparent measures to make school safer.
“When you’re talking about changing a culture, hen you’re talking about ending a cycle, when you’re talking about empowering our youth and giving them opportunities, It starts with their education,” Cloud said. “And our kids can’t even feel safe to go to school right now! What are we doing?”
Later that day, Cloud requested that Mayor Bowser and Councilman White respond to her by Friday morning with a sitdown or solution. If not, she would hold a “media blackout” when the Mystics play the Storm. In this blackout, Cloud wouldn’t respond to reporters about anything else but the issue of violence coming close to elementary schools like Hendley.
The Mystics guard may score 30 points in a win, but she may not speak to the media on anything besides the recent incidents there.— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) June 14, 2019
Cloud can expect to see most, if not all of her teammates onboard with a media blackout. General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault and Elena Delle Donne support the decision, according to Kelyn Soong of The Washington City Paper.
The WNBA is already known as a league where its athletes embrace activism more than those in other sports leagues, including the NBA. But it’s not the first time this has happened before.
On July 22, 2016, the Mystics held a media blackout along with other teams in response to police shootings of African American men and wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts during warmups. Then-Mystics center Kia Vaughn spoke for the team about it. Though it’s unclear what will happen on Friday, Cloud may be the one to speak on behalf of the team.
View this post on Instagram
#MediaBlackout #WNBAUnity #BlackLivesMatter Tonight's Post Game Wasn't About Basketball. The @officialwashingtonmystics Stand As One To Address The Media. We Thank You @kianiema @t_cloud4 @babyivey12 @trp14 @breezyyy14 @bigmamastef @t_hawk21 @taylerhill_4 @ally_malott @emma_meesseman @_klc215 @jweisner @wnba #WNBA #MyMindOnSports #MMOS #WashingtonMystics #DC #NYC
Cloud should be commended for standing up for things that are right. No one should have to live in fear at home and at school because of nearby violence.