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L.A. Sparks stand on court for anthem before decisive Game 5

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Los Angeles Sparks, who went to their locker room during the national anthem for the first four games of the WNBA Finals, stayed on the court before their series-deciding Game 5 loss to Minnesota Wednesday at Williams Arena.

The Sparks had said before each previous game that they voted as a team on what they would do for the anthem. Los Angeles forward Nneka Ogwumike said the team had never intended any disrespect to anyone but wanted to display unity in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Lynx have stood for the anthem every game of the WNBA Finals but were one of the teams that made a statement about Black Lives Matter last year with their warm-up shirts.

Prior to the start of the WNBA Finals, league president Lisa Borders voiced support for all teams expressing their beliefs as part of a peaceful protest.