Karen Fratti
June 16, 2017 12:03 pm
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

With the current political climate being what it is, Planned Parenthood needs our attention and support. Although the organization has tons of celeb donations and great fundraising campaigns, a new partnership between the WNBA and Planned Parenthood will take this awareness to another level.

The Seattle Storm will be helping Planned Parenthood out financially and politically.

On July 18th, just before the team’s game against the Chicago Sky, the Seattle Storm and its ownership group, Force 10 Hoops (which is comprised of local businesswomen and civic leaders), will hold a rally to support Planned Parenthood. That’s the only nationally televised game of their season on ESPN2, so there’s guaranteed visibility for the rally.

The team will also hold a silent auction and donate $5 of every ticket sale to the health organization, with a pledge to engage in “ongoing support” for Planned Parenthood via more fundraising efforts to come. The team’s also asked local businesses to buy tickets that would go toward the Planned Parenthood donations and then donate the tickets to Seattle women and children’s groups. It’s like a cycle of never-ending girl power.

The idea came about when Storm owners Dawn Trudeau, Lisa Brummel, and Ginny Gilder were talking about all of the attacks on Planned Parenthood coming from the current administration. They couldn’t just sit around and watch injustice occur.

Trudeau told Think Progress, “We just talked about how this was something we felt was important right now. I think it’s just one of the values that the three of us shared at the beginning, and it’s been a core value of our partnership. It was a natural fit to combine the goals.” They sought out Chris Charbonneau, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands (PPHNI), who said that this is the first time she’s been approached by an entire business (and especially a sports team) for a partnership.

“I think it’s wonderful. There aren’t a lot of women’s teams that would embrace an issue like women’s contraception and education, but the Storm is. They’re very much about the success of women,” she said. Planned Parenthood can be politically divisive, so the team is sending a strong message to all of their fans that women’s reproductive rights are worth fighting for and supporting. Trudeau added that no team member would be forced to participate in the rally or speak on Planned Parenthood’s behalf, but so far, no team member has objected.

Women’s sports teams have been totally badass when it comes to taking a stand for what they believe in. Last year, a handful of WNBA teams were fined for wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts and then staged a media blackout in response to their punishment. Women’s soccer teams are organizing for equal pay. And now, Seattle Storm’s partnership with Planned Parenthood. Hopefully, other teams organize to support women’s causes they believe in. Can you imagine the visibility of Planned Parenthood-sponsored jerseys at the next Olympics or World Cup? Hey, a feminist can dream, right?

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