WNBA responds to Atlanta Dream co-owner’s anti-BLM comments

League moves forward with plans to dedicate the 2020 Season to social justice, allowing players to wear 'Black Lives Matter' and 'Say Her Name' on warm-ups during game days

Kelly Loeffler is a U.S. Senator and co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, a WNBA team. She is also adamantly opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Loeffler wrote a lengthy letter to Cathy Englebert, the commissioner of the WNBA in which she stated that “we need less — not more politics in sports.” She continued, “In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports.” 

READ MORE: WNBA’s Maya Moore sacrifices season to help free man from prison

In a statement, the WNBA said that Loeffler is not involved in the day-to-day business operations of the team and that they will move forward with their 2020 season which is dedicated to social justice. Teams will allow players to substitute “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” on their warm-ups during game days. 

In her letter, Loeffler wrote, “The lives of each and every African American matter, and there’s no debating the fact that there is no place for racism in our country. However, I adamantly opposed the Black Lives Matter political movement.” 

Loeffler said that the movement has “advocated for the defunding of police, called for the removal of Jesus from churches and the disruption of the nuclear family structure, harbored anti-Semitic views, and promoted violence and destruction across the country.” 

In response to the letter, the WNBA Players Association has called for the league to remove Loeffler as an owner. 

Atlanta Dream v Minnesota Lynx - Game Two
Iziane Castro Marques #8 and Sancho Lyttle #20 of the Atlanta Dream Game Two of the 2011 WNBA Finals on October 5, 2011. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Loeffler, a staunch President Donald Trump supporter, has co-owned the franchise with Mary Brock since 2011. Brock declined to comment. 

“The WNBA is based on the principle of equal and fair treatment of all people and, we along with the teams and players will continue to use our platforms to vigorously advocate for social justice.” The league said in their statement. 

Georgia Representative Doug Collins, who is running against Loeffler for her Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Senate seat in November, is painting a narrative that she may actually have a profile that might support Black Lives Matter. While both are Republicans, Collins wrote on Twitter that Loeffler should sell her interest in the team because of her liberal-leaning politics.

According to some polls, Collins is besting the incumbent by a very small margin.

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