25,523, © 2020 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved Racist Whore You Need to Sell… In Tuesday’s statement, Loeffler said she stood by her views. Absolutely. WNBA players are committed to promoting social justice and Black Lives Matter. Atlanta Dream co-owner and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler is trying to … If none of these candidates gets above 50 percent of the vote, the election will go to a runoff. The team's players have embraced the Black Lives Matter movement while … And Loeffler was like, well, I would welcome a conversation, but it would have to be a dialogue, you can’t cancel me. Loeffler is focused on branding herself as a Trump conservative partially because of the kind of election she’s running right now. In the fall of 2019, she stepped down from the WNBA Board of Governors and stopped being involved in the day-to-day ownership-of-a-team process. The logo of the Atlanta Dream team is on the opposite side of the BLM banner. The WNBA's protest wasn't cancel culture, which isn't real. Privacy Notice The first time anybody even raised that was when she was going around on conservative television talking about how nobody could give in to “mob rule.”. You had high-profile players from the Dream, like Elizabeth Williams, out there marching, holding signs, posting images of themselves at the protest, becoming very vocal, connecting the founding of the Atlanta Dream to their desire to protest and agitate for change. Part of what I think makes what happened in the WNBA so interesting is that it wasn’t just the Dream that came forward and started speaking out about Loeffler—it was the league. What’s at stake for the WNBA players? Right away, her own players were like, hey, I would love to have a conversation with you. Warnock slammed by black Georgia ministers over abortion stance, Ga. 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It’s almost very easy to map her career aspirations alongside her tack to the right and her outspokenness. In no way has this been clearer than in how its players have responded to brackish bullying from an unexpected source: an owner of the Atlanta Dream, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga. (CNN) The WNBA is no stranger to issues of social justice. Do you know why she tacked to the right so abruptly? They had a new investment in the game, and it was their time to showcase it. Over the years, WNBA players have given a relentless spotlight to issues that are important to them. But this year the league’s commitment to social justice got personal: Players started encouraging fans to vote against one of their team’s owners, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who, already vulnerable due to opposition within her party and allegations of insider trading, is fighting to hold a seat she was appointed to earlier this year. One of the powers of the WNBA teams is how well they work together as a unit beyond the boundaries of who’s on what team. Terms of Use The WNBA. In 2010, Loeffler became a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream — the WNBA's Georgia-based team and its lone representation in the Southeastern United States. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. When it really started to come up was when she turned and focused on her political career. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), a co-owner of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, said in a Fox News interview Thursday that people in Atlanta who are … “This is just more proof that the out of control cancel culture wants to shut out anyone who disagrees with them,” the lawmaker wrote. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. WNBA players on the Atlanta Dream squad, which is co-owned by Sen. Kelly Loeffler, showed up to their Tuesday game wearing T-shirts promoting the Georgia lawmaker’s Democratic challenger. And 10 years later, she became an enemy to the notably progressive WNBA community, so much so that the league's players openly endorsed her opponent in the middle of the season. Mary Harris: How did Loeffler even get involved with the WNBA? We have a candidate who very much wants to keep her seat. Tennessee Judge Apologizes … Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who is a co-owner of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, has been outspoken regarding how she feels about the Black Lives Matter movement. Raphael Warnock [the Democratic candidate in the special election], a lot of the players on the Dream decided, we want shirts endorsing him. Amira Rose Davis: Many rich people get involved with ownership of sports teams. Your California Privacy Rights It seemed like, who are you speaking to here? 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But her views … And after the anti–police brutality protests, the WNBA team that she partly owns comes out in favor of Black Lives Matter.Â. A vote for me is a vote for conservative values, and I’m not backing down to these bullies. How did that happen? August 5, 2020 | 1:52am | Updated December 3, 2020 | 8:46am. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! And at that point, only a few players were like, get out of here. After meeting with Rev. Sen. Kelly Loeffler is finally coming under fire as a WNBA owner, for calling some Atlanta protests "mob rule." And the players were like, girl, bye. You can cancel anytime. It felt very disingenuous, this rhetoric of “cancel culture,” saying you can’t fire me or push me out or make me sell my team just because you don’t like what I have to say. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, told ESPN on Tuesday she does not intend to sell her stake in the Atlanta Dream as the league embraces the … That is a lot harder to do if nobody’s talking about you. “Loeffler’s escalation of drama with the, given a relentless spotlight to issues that are important to them, Alabama’s Highest Paid State Employee in a Pandemic Year Will Be a Fired Football Coach, How Michael Jordan’s Comeback Became a Post-9/11 Spectacle, The Eagles’ New Starting Quarterback Might Be a Sports Movie Hero, tried to fine them a dress code violation, $500 per shirt, people are allegedly tuning out of the NBA. The statement against Loeffler, who is unpopular among many WNBA players for her opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement and the league’s affiliation with it, was captured on camera and posted to social media. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. ATLANTA (CBS46) – Senator Kelly Loeffler, a co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, finds herself at the center of controversy after she sent a letter to the league’s commissioner asking Very quickly, WNBA players were like: This feels like political football. All of a sudden she’s on Fox News and defending what she has to say about Black Lives Matter. Members of the Dream’s Tuesday opponent, the Phoenix Mercury, even joined in — with players on both sides entering the arena wearing shirts emblazoned with “Vote Warnock” and “Black Lives Matter.”. And you'll never see this message again. She co-owns the Atlanta Dream of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Get more news from Mary Harris and her team every day. This was the first season where they had new investors, new media partnerships. Your Ad Choices She’s representing some pretty conservative voters. You know what’s up in ratings? But she’s trying to engage in revisionist history. Part of that has been figuring out, well, what to do about this connection to the Atlanta Dream? This feels like not actually about us. It absolutely did. You’re preemptively trying to guard against being canceled. But this year the league’s commitment to social justice got personal: Players started encouraging fans to vote against one of their team’s owners, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler… I think she was very well positioned to have this scripted in a way like: Look at this big, bad, Black, LGBTQ league against little me. WNBA players are stepping up their opposition to Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffler, a U.S. senator, by wearing “Vote Warnock” T-shirts this week to … And we don’t want to be used as objects. “I … WNBA Statement Regarding Kelly Loeffler Official Release July 7, 2020 NEW YORK, July 7, 2020 – WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert released the following statement: Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity. I guess that’s what she was alluding to there. In that sense, they very quickly realized that Loeffler was trying to play political football with them, was trying to use them as objects in her own political quest. Kelly Loeffler-- the Atlanta Dream co-owner who bashed the WNBA's support of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer -- is headed for a … So there was a lot a lot at stake. She went on to basically say it was about violence and anti-Semitism and that she unequivocally did not want the league to be associated with this. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. It’s a lot. Subscribe to What Next on Apple Podcasts for the full episode. Kelly Loeffler posed with a neo-Nazi in her latest embarrassing moment as a WNBA owner. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Your California Privacy Rights Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), a co-owner of women’s professional basketball franchise the Atlanta Dream, and strong supporter of President Trump, wrote WNBA … It’s up 68 percent. At that point, a few players were like, your comments about mob rule are racially insensitive or racist. I think her escalation of drama with the WNBA is a naked aspiration to hold on to what little crumbling ground she has. We don’t want to give Loeffler any more time—we don’t even want to raise her name or talk about her. ALERT: Kelly Loeffler just posed for a photo with Chester Doles, a former KKK leader who runs the white supremacist American Patriots USA. Precisely. She said BLM sends a message of exclusion.Â. WNBA teams have always engaged in risk. Now is the time for the WNBA to force Kelly Loeffler to sell her interest in the Dream. We've received your submission. Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler is a co-owner of Atlanta's WNBA team. Kelly Loeffler: the WNBA owner against everything the league stands for The Republican senator wants to keep politics out of sports. That’s a fun stat to remember when you hear analysts saying people are allegedly tuning out of the NBA because players dared to take a stand. Sen. Kelly Loeffler poured gas on her feud with WNBA players by filing a bill targeting trans woman and girl athletes. Do Not Sell My Personal Information. But the collectivity of the teams played here: They all were like, we’re going to stand behind the Dream, we’re going to stand as a league, we’re going to stand very publicly rock these shirts, and we’re going to make sure you know who this candidate is because he is whom we believe in, not her. I think that’s when tension really erupted publicly, because Loeffler’s letter wasn’t a private message to Cathy. Part of the reason why was that her association with the WNBA, which is seen as a very Black, LGBTQ league, was knocking her and her political aspirations in conservative circles. It … Did that pay off for it in terms of revenue? One thing that illustrates this: A few years ago, the WNBA had a partnership with the Take a Seat, Take a Stand initiative that directed portions of game-day ticket sales to five partner organizations, one being Planned Parenthood. My understanding is that before she went to Washington, Loeffler was kind of a moderate like—she supported Mitt Romney and gave him a bunch of money. When we talk about stakes, it’s really important to know this WNBA season was important even before the pandemic, because it was the first season being played under the new collective bargaining agreement they’d fought for. Last month, the WNBA Players’ Association union called on league commissioner Cathy Engelbert to remove Loeffler as co-owner of the Atlanta Dream over the lawmaker’s stance on Black Lives Matter. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, co-owner of WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, says Black Lives Matter threatens to ‘destroy’ America Loeffler sent a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert denouncing the league’s endorsement of the BLM movement. Tuesday, the organization distanced itself from Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, a co-owner of … The association cited its opposition to Loeffler’s request to use American flags on warmup jerseys instead of the league’s plan to have “Black Lives Matter” on them. Atlanta owner Kelly Loeffler talks with Dream General Manager Chris Sienko during the WNBA game between the Las Vegas Aces and the Atlanta Dream on Sept. 5, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga. 32,694, This story has been shared 25,523 times. She’s a white woman, and we’ve already seen the power of white women’s tears. It was a public open letter; the audience was very clearly her constituents. Some WNBA players are calling for the ouster of Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who co-owns the Atlanta Dream, after she objected to the league's plans to honor the Black Lives Matter movement. Thanks for contacting us. Instead, let’s use the platform we have to wear the name of her opponent say vote Warnock. Kelly Loeffler: WNBA’s support of Black Lives Matter doesn’t represent ‘American values’ Alex Reimer 7/22/2020. Loeffler was escalating it by doing the rounds on conservative media to position herself as victim of these liberal, LGBTQ, Black basketball players and a league behind them that is forcing her to celebrate and amplify Black Lives Matter. You’ve run out of free articles. She had a minority stake in the Atlanta Dream for the past decade—it wasn’t part of her core political or professional aims. Before she became the archenemy of her own basketball team, Kelly Loeffler, Republican senator and co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, loved talking about zone defense. WNBA players showed support for Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s opponent Raphael Warnock in the U.S. Senate race in Georgia on Tuesday prior to the day’s slate of games. Sports, race and politics have come together to create a political challenge for Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who co-owns the Atlanta Dream, the city's WNBA team. Get more news from Mary Harris every weekday. But at that point, nobody had even gone that far except for her. It really did seem like a piece of political theater she’d staged on her own. Kelly Lynn Loeffler is an American businesswoman and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Georgia since 2020. Elizabeth Williams, a center for the Dream, earlier Tuesday posted a photo of herself to Twitter wearing the “Vote Warnock” shirt, a nod to Loeffler’s opponent, Raphael Warnock. Shenise Johnson of the Minnesota Lynx walks across the court prior to game against the Seattle Storm at Feld Entertainment Center on Sept. 24 in Palmetto, Florida. And to that end, they said, how can we pull back from being used in this way, and assert ourselves as participants in the political process? It’s so funny, ratings for sports across the board are down right now: the NBA finals, the NFL, the MLB finals, the Stanley Cup finals. WNBA stars and the Women's National Basketball Players Association are calling for the league to remove Kelly Loeffler as co-owner of the Atlanta Dream. Loeffler, who has been part of Dream ownership since 2011, slammed the move and said she was being targeted by the cancel culture. Over the past year, she has really tried to get in with the inner circle around Trump. The thing I think is so interesting about being silent about her name is that it’s very hard for Loeffler to paint herself as a victim. In 1993, Doles nearly beat a Black man to death. They didn’t care. 44,765, This story has been shared 32,694 times. After the league in early July indicated that it was going to dedicate the season to Black Lives Matter, to #SayHerName, to Breonna Taylor, Loeffler wrote an open letter to the league’s president, Cathy Engelbert, and said she absolutely disagreed with this, that it was not a political movement the WNBA should be behind. They’ve had to work and fight for every inch that they’ve gotten for their league—for it to exist, for it to keep going, for it to get respect. The lawmaker said she disagreed with the cause over what she called “its radical ideas and Marxist foundations, which include defunding the police and eroding the nuclear family.”. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. All contents © 2020 The Slate Group LLC. It's time for the league to force her out. Nobody in the league was forced to do this.