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NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA is going to let teams choose how they stand for the national anthem for the remainder of the season.

The league confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday that it has extended the suspension of the national anthem protocol put in place on Aug. 16. Over the past 10 days, players have been able to lock arms with each other during the anthem to show their support for the victims of racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that occurred two weeks ago.

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The Connecticut Sun and the Phoenix Mercury stand for a moment of silence for the National Anthem before the game on August 20, 2017 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. (credit: Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)

“Linking arms, showing that all of us — black, brown, white, — we’re in this together was the message we wanted to share with our country and the world. And we believed that it was our responsibility to do that,” players association president Nneka Ogwumike said. “The fact that league and team officials supported that message then and have extended that support now shows the depth of character in all of us.”

Originally, in a memo obtained by the AP, the league suspended its protocol until Friday night. Before suspending the protocol, the league required players to line up in a dignified posture along the foul lines during the playing of the national anthem.

Now, teams can continue to show their support for racial harmony.

“It wasn’t just to make noise and have it go away,” said Washington’s Kristi Toliver, who was one of the key people who pushed for players to first lock arms 10 days ago. “I think it’s important that every team wants to be involved in it will. We’re not going to force anybody. We hadn’t talked with New York about it before, but it was good to carry it on.”

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The Minnesota Lynx huddle up before the game against the San Antonio Stars during a WNBA game on August 25, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (credit: Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)

Toliver was happy that the league will let the players continue their show of unity.

“I think the league showed they have our backs in the demonstrations that we decided to do.”

Two of the three games Friday night had teams intermixed during the anthem. Atlanta and Indiana locked arms before their game Saturday.

Ogwumike, a Los Angeles Sparks forward, said her team has discussed doing something with Minnesota before their national televised game Sunday night.

“We talked about it and we will talk to Minnesota and see what they want to do,” Ogwumike said.

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Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx shares a hug with Alex Montgomery #6 of the San Antonio Stars after the game during a WNBA game on August 25, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (credit: Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s the second consecutive summer that WNBA players have responded to a social issue. Last year, players wore black shirts in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The league originally fined the players for it but then rescinded the fines.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 

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