WNBA players want Dream owner out after anti-BLM comments


JANUARY 6: Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., waits for Vice President Mike Pence to arrive for her swear-in reenactment for the cameras in the Capitol on Monday,

The WNBA is slated to finally begin its delayed regular season later this month at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where the league will play a 22-game regular season. Ahead of the season opener on July 24, the league is battling drama already this week.
The first involves Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who also is an owner of the Atlanta Dream. Players are upset with Loeffler after she reportedly wrote a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert to protest the league’s plans to spotlight the Black Lives Matter movement in its return.
WNBA teams plan to wear warmup jerseys with the words “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” (a reference to Black women like Breonna Taylor, who was killed by Louisville police while sleeping in her bed in March) when they kick off the season. Loeffler thinks a simple American flag patch would be more appropriate and said that the support of a “particular political agenda undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion.”
  • Loeffler: “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. And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports.”
Loeffler, who hasn’t been involved in the day-to-day business of the Dream since 2019, is far from the first or only person who wants athletes and leagues to “stick to sports.” But, as expected, her message also rubbed a lot of other people the wrong way — including those within the WNBA. The league released a statement pushing back against Loeffler’s message shortly after her letter was published.
  • Engelbert in WNBA statement: “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 WNBPA took the pushback a step further, asking for Loeffler to be removed as an owner and pushed out of the league. Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud was one of several notable players who publicly called for Loeffler’s removal, saying “get her weak ass out of the league.”

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Atlanta DreamCathy EngelbertKelly LoefflerWashington MysticsWNBAWnba and blm

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