Angel McCoughtry

Catchings' career ends and Fever kneel in anthem protest

The new WNBA playoff format began with a protest and ended with Phoenix and Atlanta advancing.

It also produced the final game of Tamika Catchings' illustrious career when the Fever lost to the eighth-seeded Mercury 89-78 on Wednesday night.

Even though she lost, Catchings was proud of her teammates and the stand they took before the game when the entire squad knelt during the national anthem, locking arms and lowering heads in a show of unity. Players in several sports are protesting social injustice, racial oppression and police brutality in the United States.

"This game of basketball is important for a lot of reasons," Catchings said. "One of them is...