Minnesota Lynx, Black Lives Matter

The defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx wore customized warm-up shirts Saturday to pay their respects to Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and the Dallas Police Department, and held a press conference to protest racial profiling.

These actions prompted four off-duty Minneapolis police officers to walk off their jobs of working security for the game at Target Center.

"I commend them for it," said Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, the union that represents rank-and-file officers.

Kroll also told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that other officers, who were not in the arena that night, plan to stand with them and will not work Lynx games.

"If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there," Kroll added.

During a pregame news conference, Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson said the team wore the shirts, which included mention of Black Lives Matter, "to honor and mourn the loss of precious American citizens and to plead change for all of us."

"We are highlighting a longtime problem of racial profiling," 2014 WNBA MVP Maya Moore said.

While race is undeniably featured on the shirt, the inclusion of a star on a badge to represent the Dallas Police Department apparently wasn't enough for the Minneapolis police.

Kroll accused Lynx players of depicting "false narratives" and said, "Rushing to judgment before the facts are in is unwarranted and reckless."

When asked if rumors of seven or eight officers walking out of the game were true, Kroll tossed some shade at the Lynx and the WNBA: "They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw."

Saturday's game versus the Dallas Wings drew 7,613 fans. The Timberwolves had the NBA's 29th-best home attendance in 2015-16, drawing 14,175 fans.

Other athletes have gotten involved in protests. On Friday, Carmelo Anthony posted an Instagram photo that included Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and others speaking on Ali's disregarding his drafting to fight in the Vietnam War.

"I'm calling for all my fellow ATHLETES to step up and take charge," Anthony wrote, although, he acknowledged this involves attaining the help of local political officials.

First off let me start off by saying " All Praise Due To The Most High." Secondly, I'm all about rallying, protesting, fighting for OUR people. Look I'll even lead the charge, By Any Means Necessary. We have to be smart about what we are doing though. We need to steer our anger in the right direction. The system is Broken. Point blank period. It has been this way forever. Martin Luther King marched. Malcolm X rebelled. Muhammad Ali literally fought for US. Our anger should be towards the system. If the system doesn't change we will continue to turn on the TVs and see the same thing. We have to put the pressure on the people in charge in order to get this thing we call JUSTICE right. A march doesn't work. We tried that. I've tried that. A couple social media post/tweet doesn't work. We've all tried that. That didn't work. Shooting 11 cops and killing 5 WILL NOT work. While I don't have a solution, and I'm pretty sure a lot of people don't have a solution, we need to come together more than anything at this time. We need each other. These politicians have to step up and fight for change. I'm calling for all my fellow ATHLETES to step up and take charge. Go to your local officials, leaders, congressman, assemblymen/assemblywoman and demand change. There's NO more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore. Those days are long gone. We have to step up and take charge. We can't worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change. We just have to be willing to. THE TIME IS NOW. IM all in. Take Charge. Take Action. DEMAND CHANGE. Peace7 #StayMe7o

A photo posted by @carmeloanthony on

More Basketball:
-- 5 Records Tim Duncan Is Leaving On The Table
-- Kevin Durant On Shoe Line: 'I'm Not A $88 Player'
-- Kobe Bryant Just Got Best Retirement Gift -- From Snoop Dogg

Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.