A new Dallas Wings uniform designed to honor the Women Airforce Service Pilots has been pulled after the team, WNBA and Nike learned that the program excluded Black women, according to a joint statement to TIME on Friday.
In celebration of the league's 25th anniversary season, each of the 12 teams unveiled three new Nike-designed jerseys on April 8. The Wings' Rebel-edition uniform paid homage to the World War II P-40 Warhawk, a plane manufactured in Texas and test-flown by the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
"What stands out about the WASPs is that they excluded Black women entirely," Matthew F. Delmont, a history professor at Dartmouth College who specializes in African American history and civil rights, told TIME. "While the rest of the military and auxiliary services were segregated, they at least allowed African Americans to participate."
In a joint statement to TIME, Nike, the WNBA and the Wings said: "The recently unveiled Dallas Wings Nike Rebel Edition uniform was designed to celebrate a group of Texas-based women pilots during World War II. However, Nike, the WNBA and the Dallas Wings recently learned the history of the program does not align with our shared values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
"As a result, the Dallas Wings will not wear this uniform on court, Nike and its partners are removing it from retail, and Nike and the Wings will work together on a new Nike Rebel Edition uniform design for the future."
The WNBA dedicated its 2020 season to social justice, demanding justice for Breonna Taylor and honoring the Black Lives Matter movement and the "Say Her Name" campaign.
On Thursday, the Wings headlined the WNBA draft by selecting Charli Collier of Texas with the No. 1 overall pick and Awak Kuier of Finland with the second pick. The Wings also selected Arkansas standout Chelsea Dungee and Louisville star Dana Evans.