The highly anticipated concert by Chance The Rapper during the WNBA’s All-Star weekend was in jeopardy of being canceled due to the league’s commissioner expressing concerns about Chicago’s recent spree of violence.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert shut down all fan-planned activities out of safety concerns.
She also didn’t allow fans to purchase tickets for the skill competitions and the three-point competition, like fans can do with the NBA, the league’s male counterparts.
“We would have loved to have opened that up to the public,” Engelbert explained to the press. “Because of security concerns dating way back to Mandalay Bay, dating back to other things that have happened here in Chicago, Uvalde, and Buffalo, there’s a lot of concern about outdoor events right now unfortunately in our country. So, we were just trying to do the best we could.”
However, on the evening of July 9th, Chance did do a show and made it open to the public for free.
He also threw his support behind WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been held in Russia for months on drug smuggling charges.
AllHipHop.com reported that Brittney Griner, a two-time US Olympic gold medalist, pleaded guilty to the charges at the end of last week, days before the All-Star weekend. She is facing ten years in a foreign prison.
The independent chart-topper rocked her Phoenix Mercury jersey on stage. One fan captured it in real-time.
Big Latto took the stage and ripped it. Jay Shalé got the crowd hyped.
The show seemed to be epic. Later, Chance dropped another snipped of his song “Highs and The Lows” featuring Joey Badass on social media early Monday morning.
The actual All-Star game still went on at Wintrust Arena. The venue was nearly sold-out. In attendance were 9,572 fans and basketball enthusiasts, almost topping last year’s record of 10,897, the maximum seats in the arena.