The Washington Mystics blew a 13-point fourth quarter lead against the Seattle Storm in a WNBA Finals rematch, but that was not the biggest storyline from a Friday night in the District. During the day Thursday, Mystics guard Natasha Cloud visited Hendley Elementary School in Southeast D.C. where she was horrified that a bullet had gone through the school’s window the day before on Wednesday. To make matters worse, it was not the first or second, but third time such has happened in the past month. Cloud took to Instagram immediately afterward to express the need for change to Mayor Muriel Bowser and Ward 8 councilman Trayon White.
“Tray, you are the representative for Ward 8 so I’m calling you out. I just left Hendley Elementary School and did you know they had to cancel their field day today because yesterday at 4 p.m., a bullet went through their front window. And it’s not the first bullet this month. In fact, it’s the third bullet this month to go through the front window of that elementary school. When you’re talking about changing a culture, when you’re talking about ending a cycle, when you’re talking about empowering our youth and giving them opportunities, it starts with their education. And our kids can’t even feel safe to go to school right now. What are we doing? We got to do better for our youth. We got to do better for our community. The fact that three bullets have gone through, the fact that one bullet has gone through that school’s window, but three in the month of June and nothing is being done. I’m calling everyone’s asses out. D.C. do better.”
“And let me tell y’all something else. Tray, Mayor Bowser, if I don’t get a response by tomorrow morning, with a solution and/or a sitdown for a solution, cause y’all have had a month now to figure this out, we have a rematch of the 2018 WNBA Finals tomorrow and I will be sure to use all of my media privleges as a blackout and I will only discuss this topic until it is fixed. So, someone better get back to me.”
The organization supported Cloud’s decision to conduct a media blackout and the guard made a single statement on the behalf of her and her teammates after Friday’s loss about the need for better gun safety in the community. Head coach and general manager Mike Thibault conducted his usual availability duties about the game.
Here is what Cloud said after the game:
“Tonight, obviously, didn’t go as planned. But we’re talking about a game, the loss of a game. There’s a lot more losses going on within our community. Especially within this community, Ward 8. So we as a team want to only bring light to the issues going on within this community and that is the violence around kids going to school. We need to be able to ensure their safety and that starts with raising the awareness and bringing the attention that needs to be held in this community. We would be doing a disservice if we didn’t bring light to the terrible things that are going on in this community so there will be no statements made about the game. Again, it’s just a game, but we’re talking about people’s lives within this community so we want to be part of the solution, we are in 100 percent support, and again we just want to make this community better. Thank you.”