Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore will skip her second consecutive WNBA season in 2020 as she continues to push for criminal justice reform and the release of Missouri inmate Jonathan Irons, the 30-year-old announced in an interview with Kurt Streeter of The New York Times.
By doing so, Moore will no longer be able to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
"Basketball has not been foremost in my mind. I’ve been able to rest and connect with people around me, actually be in their presence after all of these years on the road. And I’ve been able to be there for Jonathan," Moore told Streeter.
Moore met Irons in 2017 while visiting Missouri's Jefferson City Correctional Center. The 39-year-old is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence after being convicted of burglary and assaulting a homeowner.
Irons, who is African-American, was found guilty by an all-white jury. Moore believes he was wrongfully convicted.
Ahead of the 2019 season, the six-time All-Star announced through The Players' Tribune she would be sitting out the campaign to focus on "the people in my family, as well as on investing my time in some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years."
In eight WNBA seasons, Moore averaged 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists in 31.2 minutes per game. She led the Lynx to the WNBA title in four of those campaigns and was named league MVP in 2014.