Atlanta Dream owner Sen. Kelly Loeffler objects to Black Lives Matter message
U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler had issues with the WNBA’s plans to honor the Black Lives Matter movement, noting that subscribing to a “particular political agenda undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion.”
Loeffler, a Republican senator who is also the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, urged commissioner Cathy Engelbert to place an American flag on all WNBA uniforms and apparel instead of the proposed messages of “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” that was prompted prior to agreeing to the season.
“The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports. In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote,” said Kelly Loeffler, who faces a November special election against 20 other candidates. “And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports.”
Loeffler, who has aligned closely with the Donald Trump regime, has faced growing pressure to sell her stake in the team, which she’s co-owned since 2011. She’s been an outspoken critic of the Black Lives Matter movement and referred to Black armed protesters as “mob rule.”
Those comments incited WNBA stars Sue Bird, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Natasha Cloud to urge Engelbert to sanction Loeffler.
Asking myself the same question https://t.co/4AbLp3vF9C
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) July 3, 2020
— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) July 4, 2020
Get her weak ass out of our league. https://t.co/wcWqJNIWtK
— Natasha Cloud (@T_Cloud4) July 4, 2020
Renee Montgomery, a starting guard for the Dream, vowed to sit out the 2020 WNBA season to focus on social justice reform. She responded to the video of protesters, which soon went viral with Loeffler’s comments.
— Renee Montgomery (@itsreneem_) June 26, 2020
If she wasn’t one before, Loeffler has quickly made herself public enemy number one among WNBA players, as her comments and opinions have been in poor taste for a league that is primarily African American.
This latest letter to Engelbert could raise enough ire to force the commissioner’s hand for further action, especially in light of the NBA’s sister league vowing to strive for justice, equality, and having zero tolerance for bigotry.