The Women's National Basketball Association is equipping its athletes with a mobile app so players can "ask for help and receive help in dangerous situations or threatening environments" overseas, WNBA President Lisa Borders told The Associated Press. "This was a proactive effort to protect our players and secure their personal safety," Borders said. "Our partner in this endeavor is LiveSafe. It has multiple features and functionality."
During the WNBA offseason, the league's 60-plus players travel abroad to compete in nations such as Russia, Turkey, and China. Last year, the Indiana Fever's Marissa Coleman left an area near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul just moments before a deadly suicide bombing.
The app "will allow the players to communicate directly with the league and its security team," The Associated Press reports, adding that LiveSafe can also send notifications "similar to what one might get from the State Department." Borders clarified that the app was not a response to a specific threat but rather the fact that "we live in a complicated time."
"These young women are some of the best athletes in the world," Borders said. "They are citizens of that same world. They experience cultures and conflicts in the world. We always want to make sure they are safe. They are our primary stakeholder in the league."