Sandy • Utah Royals FC had the day off when news broke that the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor would not be criminally prosecuted. But when the team’s players saw each other the next day, it was clear the ruling greatly irked some of them.
“Definitely that was a sad thing to hear,” defender Elizabeth Ball said Thursday during a videoconference. “I know a couple of people were pretty beat up.”
So before the Royals and OL Reign played to a 2-2 draw Saturday afternoon in front of 1,302 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, both clubs decided to voice their opinions on the matter in a joint statement.
“On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor’s story ended when she was fatally shot while she slept in her home,” the statement read. “We are disheartened that she will not receive the justice she deserves following a grand jury’s ruling on September 23rd.
“However, in the true spirit of the Black Lives Matter Movement, we will not stop telling her story until her life is justify honored. We will continue highlighting injustices and fighting for actionable change in our community.
“We understand that systemic racism has been foundational in our country’s history, but it is not enough to simply know that there is a problem. We must all choose how our actions will create real change, and we choose to unequivocally fight for true racial justice.”
Royals and Reign players warmed up in T-shirts referencing Taylor. Black players on both teams wore white T-shirts that read, “I am Breonna Taylor,” while the rest of the shirts were black and read, “Justice for Breonna Taylor.”
Once the whistle blew, though, it was time for Utah to vie for its first win of the National Women’s Soccer League Fall Series. The Royals had to settle for the draw.
Midfielder Aminata Diallo and forward Tziarra King scored for Utah, while Bethany Balcer and Rosie White netted goals for the Reign.
This story will be updated.
Utah Royals, OL Reign honor Breonna Taylor, tie 2-2 /p>