Current Team: Los Angeles Sparks | #5
Draft: Undrafted - North Carolina
The Down Low
Despite going "Undrafted", TRP fought her way into the league. She is now known as a defensive force, calling herself the protégé of 2x Defensive Player of the Year Alana Beard. But give her a sweatband, and she will take over on offense as Headband T.
Ruffin-Pratt is also known as fighter off the court, pushing the WNBA on racial justice issues the whole time she has been in the league. Her cousin Julian Dawkins was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in 2013, just hours after she was offered a contract to join the league. This tragic event has motivated her as athlete activist. In 2016, she led the Washington Mystics in protest against the league fining players for wearing Black Lives Matters T-shirts. (The league rescinded the fines.) She now serves on the WNBA's Social Justice Council. I really encourage you to listen to her interview with Ari Chambers from 2020 in which discuss Black Lives Matter and her experiences fighting for racial justice.
If this continues and if people continue to voice their opinion, continue to stand in solidarity with African Americans and the black community, anything can happen. But it can’t just be the black community that’s standing by themselves. It has to be the white community standing with us as well because if they don’t change, then nothing’s going to change.
More on TRP
- LA Sparks' Tierra Ruffin-Pratt Is Never Giving Up The Fight (Gabe Zaldivar, Sports Illustrated)
- For Sparks’ Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, George Floyd death hits home (Thuc Nhi Nguyen, L.A. Times)
- With her cousin’s memory heavy on her heart, Sparks’ Tierra Ruffin-Pratt discusses recent police brutality in the U.S (Amber D. Dodd, Hoopfeed)
- Interview with Ari Chambers (House of Highlights)