Natasha Cloud, LaToya Sanders, Jonquel Jones opt out of playing WNBA 2020 season

    Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud says she will skip the 2020 WNBA season to focus on social reform.

    (CNN)The WNBA is planning to hold the 2020 season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, starting in July -- but not all players will be there.

    Guard Natasha Cloud and post player LaToya Sanders -- two starters from the WNBA defending champion Washington Mystics -- will sit out. Additionally, post player Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun, who finished third in the WNBA MVP voting last season, announced her decision to not play.
    Cloud is choosing not to play to focus on social reform, while Sanders and Jones cited health reasons.
      Cloud, Sanders and Jones join Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery -- who said she intends to sit out the season to help continue the fight for social justice reform in the US -- in not playing.
      Another Atlanta Dream player, guard Tiffany Hayes, has also said she will skip the season, stating in an Instagram post, "This was not an easy decision but I believe it is in my best interest with everything that is going on right now. Although I love playing this game, I believe there are much more important things to be thinking about in this moment."
      In January, before it was known the coronavirus pandemic would disrupt the season schedule, Minnesota Lynx superstar Maya Moore said she would sit out a second consecutive season to continue to fight for criminal justice reform.
      "This has been one of the toughest decisions of my career but I will be foregoing the 2020 WNBA season," Cloud said, according to a press release from the Mystics and a post by Cloud on Instagram.
      "There are a lot of factors that led to this decision, but the biggest one is that I am more than an athlete. I have a responsibility to myself, to my community and to my future children to fight for something that is much bigger than myself and the game of basketball. I will instead continue the fight for social reform, because until Black lives matter, all lives can't matter."